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Newark southern link road given green light by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in today's budget reveal

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave the given the green light for the long-awaited Newark southern link road in today’s budget.

The £20m allocation was what was requested in a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund to complete work on the road and was the maximum that could be granted.

Newark and Sherwood District Council, supported by Nottinghamshire County Council, bid for the money to plug a gap in funding.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled his 2021 Budget. Picture: PA (52615463)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled his 2021 Budget. Picture: PA (52615463)

In a double pay-day for Newark, the town was granted around £1.05m towards the redevelopment cost of the Yorke Drive Estate.

The southern link road project, part of a £203m allocation on ten East Midlands schemes, would unlock employment land and relieve the area’s traffic woes by linking the A46 at Farndon and the A1 at Fernwood, providing smoother travel alongside the Newark bypass with an alternative route. There will also be an option to cross the River Devon.

Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-3. (31339605)
Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-3. (31339605)

Newark MP Robert Jenrick said: “I’m delighted the government has agreed to provide the gap funding required, enabling the Newark southern link road to move forward.

“This is an important and long overdue investment for the town, which Newark and Sherwood District Council and I have been working with central government to secure for many years now.

“It will enable the western part of the Middlebeck development to proceed, bringing new homes and jobs to the area, and crucially it will provide the missing link between the A46 and the A1 relieving pressure on local roads and the town centre.

Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-4. (31339855)
Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-4. (31339855)

“The combination of the link road and the dualled A46 will give Newark and its environs a road network with a realistic prospect of ending the horrific gridlock and improving everyone’s quality of life.

“I’m very grateful to councillors Roger Blaney and David Lloyd and the council officers that have plugged away and worked with me to achieve this.”

Only one section of the relief road has been built ­— between Bowbridge Road, Newark, and Staple Lane, Balderton. The cost of construction has spiralled and developers of around 3,150 homes at Middlebeck have been hamstrung by their original planning consent that said only 600 homes could be built before the road was complete.

Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-2. (31339725)
Newark Southern Relief Road. 110320DD3-2. (31339725)

The land made accessible by the Middlebeck development — two million square feet — will be used as employment land for around 5,000 new jobs.

Yorke Drive has also been granted funding under the government’s levelling up agenda after the district council was left to foot a shortfall of £3.7m when an application to Homes England failed.

Consent was given for the demolition and development of up to 320 homes on the existing estate and northern portion of the Lincoln Road playing fields, a new sports pavilion, play area and improved football pitches.

The regeneration is being revisited by the council, in a major blow to residents, after issues arose.

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