Environmental campaign group, Friends of Riverside, have raised concerns about the planning process in place for the A338 Wessex Fields scheme.
The Borough Council approved plans in a board meeting last week to build a new junction and link road near Bournemouth Hospital.
However, campaigners fundamentally object to the position of Bournemouth council as the landowner, applicant and decision-maker, with many of Bournemouth’s council officers in fact opposing to the project.
Concerns of an ‘unfair hearing’
Conor O’Luby, Friends of Riverside campaigner, says the planning board meeting on Monday was a “complete farce.”
Talking of the meeting, he adds: “Although it went on for almost five hours, myself and others who were there feel as though we might as well have not bothered to turn up”.
He believes it was a one-way conversation and says: “The decision had already been made”
The route connecting the A338 with Wessex Fields Business Park has faced opposition since it was proposed in 2017, as it would partly run through the green belt.
Campaigners have protested the plans as they claim the new road will have negative environmental impacts such as noise and air pollution.
Bournemouth council say the Wessex Fields scheme will “unlock a major employment site, and provide a second access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.”
Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership secured £45.2 million to invest in transport and infrastructure improvements.
The link road is being delivered as part of Dorset’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme to alleviate traffic congestion near Wessex Fields and create over 2,000 jobs.
Holdenhurst is the Mother of Bournemouth
Conor O’Luby says the link road will “affect the heritage of the local area. Holdenhurst is the Mother of Bournemouth…and Holdenhurst village is a conservation area which has statutory protection”.
He says if the public inquiry is not called in over the coming weeks, a judicial review will be considered by Friends of Riverside and other campaigners.