John Barrett and Constanze Bell help secure approval for the Preston Western Distributor and associated Link Roads

John Barrett and Constanze Bell help secure approval for the Preston Western Distributor and associated Link Roads

The Secretary of State for Transport agreed with his appointed Inspector’s recommendations and has confirmed the schemes, side roads orders and compulsory purchase order necessary for the construction of the Preston Western Distributor (or ‘PWD’) and associated link roads. The Secretary of State and his Inspector considered that there was a compelling case in the public interest for confirmation of the Orders and Schemes.

The PWD is a 70mph 4.3km dual all-purpose carriageway linking the A583 Blackpool Road and A5085 Riversway with a new junction 2 of the M55 motorway. It will link north west Preston with the M55 motorway. Planning permission for the multi-million scheme was issued by Lancashire County Council on 19 November 2019. The PWD is a central part of local and strategic development planning policy for the Lancashire area.

The PWD will be adjoined by two new link roads: one connecting to Cottam Way (the Cottam Link Road); and the other to Lightfoot Lane (the East West Link Road).

Objections to the acquisition by compulsory purchase of land for the construction of the road were heard at a public inquiry last November. John Barrett and Constanze Bell represented Lancashire County Council, the acquiring authority at public inquiry.

Philip J Asquith MA(Hons) MA MRTPI, the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport, recommended that Secretary of State approve the compulsory purchase orders and considered that the Scheme: “would increase highway capacity, easing currently-experienced congestion problems, would lead to improvements in air quality and would aid access to important areas of employment” (at [101]); andwould provide an essential infrastructure component in the delivery of the large-scale housing provision planned for north-west Preston” (at [102]). Ultimately, notwithstanding some unwithdrawn objections, the Inspector was “satisfied that the land to be acquired has been kept to the minimum in order to facilitate the construction of the roads and any associated mitigation measures” (at [104]).  

Paul Tucker QC and John Hunter acted for Tom Barron Estates.  Ian Ponter and Philip Robson acted for Redrow and Wainhomes.

The PWD and link roads have been extensively covered in the press with articles in publications including: Lancashire Evening Post, Place NorthWest, LancsLive and the Blackpool Gazette.

You can download the documents pertaining to Inspector Asquith’s report and the Secretary of State’s decision here. A ‘fly-through’ of the route for the PWD can be viewed here

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