Lancashire County Council is set to sign off an updated planning application for a £190m road linking the A583 with Cottam and the M55 with the project due to start next year subject to approval from the Secretary of State.
The 4.3km dual carriageway will join the A583 with a new junction at Old Hall Farm, and run through to another new junction with the M55 near the Bartle Hall Hotel. There will also be a 3.4km east-west link road connecting to Lightfoot Lane, and a link road at Cottam.
The compulsory purchase order and land assembly process was signed off in February this year.
Planning permission was first granted in October 2017, but the plans have now returned to Lancashire County Council following a series of design changes intended to mitigate the road’s impact on the environment.
These include diverting a water main away from the edge of the Bartle Wetlands biological heritage site, instead running these along the embankment by the M55.
The updated planning permission also includes the construction of a new bat barn, given the road will run near to the habitat of a protected species of bat and is likely to cause disturbance to the animals.
Noise modelling work has also been undertaken by the project team to further assess noise mitigation measures for the link road.
The total estimated cost of the three roads in this scheme is £189.45m, to be met from a combination of public and private sector funds. This would include £58m of Lancashire’s Local Growth Fund, specifically supporting the dual carriageway.
Highways England will provide £25m towards the cost of the motorway junction, while further contributions would be secured from housing developers.
Costain is already lined up as main contractor, while the business case was prepared by Atkins.
The project is identified in the Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan and in Preston’s Local Plan to support the delivery of more than 5,000 homes in the North West Preston housing area as well as improving access to the motorway network and key employment sites such as Warton and Westinghouse Springfields Works.
The project will provide added road capacity, relief to Junction 1 of the M55 and surrounding roads, as well as east-west routes through the city centre. A parkway rail station is planned on the Preston-Blackpool line at Cottam, which will take its access from this road scheme.