Campaign group standing with placards in front of a field

Campaigners call for a public inquiry into the A338 Wessex Fields scheme

Local 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.

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…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.

Bournemouth council say the Wessex Fields scheme will “unlock a major employment site, and provide a second access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.”

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 is a conservation area which has statutory protection”.



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