Smannell Road Closure goes ahead

The new route for Smannell Road traffic

After a long delay the decision of the Secretary of State and the government inspector on the future of Smannell Road has been announced. The existing road will be closed and all traffic to and from Smannell, including heavy agricultural vehicles, will be diverted through the new housing at Augusta Park.

The decision comes after a public enquiry last year when the developer’s, and borough council’s, proposals were opposed by Smannell Parish Council, St Mary Bourne Parish Council. I was pleased to join them at the enquiry and argue against this illogcal and unecessary plan imposed on the area by local Tory councillors.

I am disappointed by this decision which puts the needs of big business and bureaucracy above those of local residents. It also conflicts with the government’s localism agenda. The parish council had a very strong argument against the plan. Residents’ concerns were, and are, real. We must now work with the Highways department and developers to ensure the effect of this decision on the local community is minimised.

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