Melton Council leader Byron Rhodes has warned major spending is needed on the town’s roads before new homes are built.
As previously reported in the Melton Times the first phase of a new transport study has looked at existing traffic movements within the town and what impact future housing developments (up to 2,500 new homes) would have on the town’s already congested main routes and junctions.
The second phase has also looked at non-through traffic movements - including where traffic is coming from into Melton and where it is going to - as well as analysing the volume of HGV traffic going to and from the town centre.
The third phase of work will consider what potential solutions and mitigation options might be. A report on these options is expected to be published within weeks.
The studies will form part of the evidence base to assist in the development of the emerging Melton Local Plan - which will help decide where at least 5,000 new houses will be built over the next 25 years plus other development - and be used to inform decisions on future planning applications.
Mr Rhodes said: “The work confirms in technical evidence what many of us have known for a while. It’s very welcome because decisions we make have to be based on evidence rather than opinion or perception.
“The studies show that for the town to grow in a sustainable way, significant investment will need made in transport infrastructure. The funding for this infrastructure will need to come from developers as well as other sources such as central Government.”
He added: “This work will help us make some of the decisions that need to be taken in the Local Plan but also assists in assessing the impact of the planning applications which are coming forward before the plan is in place.
“The next stages of work will look in detail at what the options are and how beneficial each will be. These measures will need to be financed and implemented in stages to ensure the town can continue to grow sustainably to meet the need for new homes and jobs.”
Melton borough councillor Matthew O’Callaghan (Labour) said: “It doesn’t need expensive consultants to tell us the blindingly obvious - that the town centre junctions are already congested. Anyone driving regularly in Melton knows that already - and if they’re already congested then more development will make them more congested!”