Falkirk Council will use compulsory purchase to allow Denny DEAR to go ahead
Falkirk Council says it will use a compulsory purchase order (CPO) if necessary to get land to build a road that will ease congestion at Denny Cross in particular.
Director of Development Rhona Geisler told councillors that negotiations were still underway with landowners Callendar Estates to buy land for the long-anticipated Denny Eastern Access Road (DEAR).
The aim is to create a bypass for traffic travelling between Glasgow Road and Broad Street in Denny, aiming to ease the congestion on local roads and Denny Cross in particular.
But while progress had been made, Ms Geisler said that things were not moving as quickly as the council would like and she asked councillors to agree that, if necessary, they could use a CPO.
“This is really just a caution but I require the authority in case we can’t move on,” she told councillors.
Denny councillor Paul Garner, who is also the SNP’s environment portfolio holder said: “I had hoped we and Callendar Estates, the landowners, would have come to a mutual agreement to progress with this much-needed infrastructure but we are now left, in my opinion, with no option but to go down the route of CPO to deliver our manifesto commitment.”
In order to get a CPO, a council has to prove the public benefits of acquiring the land outweigh private interests.
He said that continued growth of house building in the Denny area was making the DEAR solution “is the only viable way and is needed more than ever and as soon as possible”.
He said there would be economic benefits as an improved road network would allow more growth and there would also be benefits to air quality for local people.
He added that the proposed new road would also benefit Denny shops as the town would become an easier, more attractive place to visit.
“The delays we experience every single day at Denny Cross are beyond a joke and any slight change, such as sequencing or driver error, at this over-capacity junction, causes extremely lengthy tailbacks,” he said.
“In my opinion there is a clear case that in the public interest we need to use CPO powers without further delay.”
Conservative councillor Nigel Harris said he fully supported Councillor Garner’s words and said: “It is disappointing how long the DEAR has been on the stocks that Callendar Estates haven’t seen fit to negotiate on an issue that is to the benefit of many thousands of residents.”
Councillor Robert Bissett asked for confirmation that developers will still be asked for contributions.
Mrs Geisler replied that the money for DEAR was included in the council’s capital programme so they would pay for it but they would continue to seek contributions from developers, through planning guidance, although these may be received after the road is completed.
Source: The Falkirk Herald
16 December 2019