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Cabinet back proposal to find funding for Hereford link road

Herefordshire Council’s cabinet has committed itself to support the construction of the link road in Hereford which will help bring 1,400 gross new jobs and around 800 much needed homes to the city.

The link road, which will run from the bottom of Aylestone Hill and across to Edgar Street, was granted planning permission last year and is a key element of the major regeneration of the city centre.

This includes the redevelopment of the old cattle market with new retail and leisure facilities - including a Debenhams store and Odeon multi-screen cinema - along with the creation of new city centre housing in partnership with Sanctuary Group, which will include an element of affordable homes.

When cabinet met on Thursday, January 19, its members voted in favour of including a proposal to secure £27 million to build the road as a key element in its capital programme - the section of the council’s budget that considers which larger projects are on the horizon and need funding.

The report allows the council to explore funding opportunities, which could include taking advantage of low interest rates.

The overall cost of the scheme will be established during 2012 and the report also commits the council to seeking appropriate contributions from developers and to explore other funding sources.

“We are absolutely committed to building this road,” Councillor John Jarvis, leader of the council, told his cabinet colleagues.

He was supported by Cllr Brian Wilcox, who added: “This link road is essential to provide a link to the new housing and affordable housing which we desperately need.”

The link road already has planning permission and early thoughts are that it should be “shared space”.

This is an urban design concept which integrates the use of public spaces and removes the traditional segregation seen on most urban roads and means that the road’s signs, signals and kerbs will be done away with to integrate walkers, cyclists and motorists.

Cabinet’s decision to support the proposals will now go to full council when it meets on Friday, February 3.