The full length of a proposed link road connecting Ansdell with the M55 will now meet modern standards after planning permission was granted to redesign a section of the route.
The Heyhouses Link Road was originally given the green light back in 2012, as part of a public inquiry into the development of more than 1,000 new homes off Queensway. It will join the Heyhouses area with the existing roundabout at Cropper Road and Whitehills Road.
But a southern stretch of the link was initially restricted by land ownership issues, meaning that the length between North Houses Lane and a proposed new roundabout further north would have been half the width of the rest of the route.
“[This section] would have been 3.5m in each direction, below modern standards – and would therefore have had a reduced speed limit and other design limitations,” Lancashire County Council’s principal planning officer, Jonathan Haine, told a meeting of the authority’s development control committee.
“This redesign will have safety and capacity benefits,” he added.
A report presented to the committee said that the new road will “unlock key development sites and relieve congestion on the existing highway network”.
Members heard that additional greenbelt land taken up by the widening of the route is “minimal” and would have limited visual impact. No mature hedgerows or trees will have to be removed under the revised plans.
The remainder of the Heyhouses link will be unaffected by the agreed changes. Part of the new route will run alongside the currently closed section of North Houses Lane and Wild Lane, a single-file route which has been affected by subsidence.
The two roads will be retained for pedestrians and off-road cyclists and will cross the new route via a so-called ‘pegasus’ crossing, which means horse riders using the junction will not have to dismount.