Road talks are ‘a sham’

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RESIDENTS battling to save playing fields and homes from a planned new £12.7 million link road have slammed consultation on the scheme as a ‘sham’.

Rotherham Council held a drop-in session in Handsworth to find out public views on the planned Waverley Link Road, which will link the new township to Woodhouse Mill.

But opponents of the scheme, who want the route of the new road moved so it does not cross the Woodhouse Mill fields, off Retford Road, feel they have not been listened to - as Rotherham Council’s cabinet will consider a report next week proposing the scheme goes ahead as planned.

Derek Hutchinson, of Woodhouse Mill and Orgreave Community Forum, said: “Rotherham Council has more or less made its mind up on putting the road through the field.

“There has only been a walk-in non-consultation event, which for many was a complete sham and did not conform to any democratic procedure.”

Maurice Littlewood, chairman of Handsworth Forum, called the route of the proposed road ‘undemocratically forced’.

He said: “We must accept that a road will be needed but not at the expense of a whole community. When this project was first brought to the public’s attention, Rotherham Council asked for our judgement about five or six alternative routes.

“We all know that the cost of all the other routes is the real reason why this less expensive route is being pushed through.”

Rotherham Council transportation and highways projects manager Tom Finnegan-Smith said: “A report to cabinet on the Waverley Link Road is proposed to be considered on September 7. This meeting is open to members of the public.

“The latest programme indicates a start date on site is likely to be May 2013. This is, of course, subject to the various approvals and statutory processes that are required.”