New setback for M6 link

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PLANS for the £123m Heysham-M6 link road have suffered a setback after highways chiefs learned they must lodge a new planning application.

The application, which means more public consultation will be needed, could delay building of the road by nine months and means the proposals could yet be thrown out.

Permission for the road was granted in February 2008 following a five-week public inquiry, but Lancashire County Council last month announced changes to the scheme to help shave £16m off the bill following public spending cuts.

The Department for Transport agreed to the revised funding arrangements and project manager, Steve McCreesh, had hoped the changes could be agreed by securing approval for amendments to the existing planning permission.

But he has now learned a fresh application to the new independent Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will be needed.

The IPC now deals with projects deemed as “nationally significant” and it is likely that the Heysham-M6 link will be the first road scheme it considers.

See the Lancaster Guardian (25-03-11) for full story.