Melton Times letter: Council must tell Government no more homes will be built until we get outer relief road

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To my knowledge we’ve been talking about a bypass or outer relief road for 30 to 40 years, and so I was really excited when I read the headlines of Christian March’s article in the Melton Times saying ‘Scheme will provide first section of bypass.’

Gladman Developments Ltd are to contribute £4.5m, phased in over eight years, towards the outer relief road as long as we let them build 520 new houses.

So in eight years from the start of the development we’ll have £4.5m towards the £65m expected overall cost of the outer relief road. So ignoring inflation for the moment, if we have £4.5m in eight years, which will be seven per cent of the total required, we will only have to wait 115 years to get enough money to complete the road.

The article goes on to say that most of the £65m will come from developer contributions and with significant help from the Government. Let’s say the Government chip in £30m - the £35m would only take us 62 years to complete the road - I won’t be here then. I said let’s ignore inflation for the moment, but I think I’ll ignore it completely because if I include inflation in the calculations, it will make the situation more farcical than it is now.

Clearly we need the money faster so why don’t we get developers to build a lot more houses quickly so we could get the £65m earlier? Good idea, if 520 houses earn us £4.5m; to earn us £65m we’d only need 7,500 houses built and sold quickly, and that number would only increase the size of Melton Mowbray by about 33 per cent. Possible? Of course not.

If I remember correctly, some years ago, Matthew O’Callaghan said that we must stop building houses here until we have a relief road. I’ve not always agreed with Mr O’Callaghan but I completely agree him in this case.

The only way we will ever get an outer relief road is for the Government to pay for it, and the only way our council could get them to do that is to have the guts to say not one more house will be allowed to be built until we get an outer relief road. If they don’t do this, we, the residents, will have to take action ourselves like the residents of Rearsby did.

Kevin Selby

Burton Road, Melton