‘Adequate’ verdict for A14 improvement consultation


A14. - Credit: Archant

A consultation over the A14 upgrade was “adequate” despite concerns from a Huntingdonshire village.

Cambridgeshire County Council has released a draft response on the adequacy of the Highways Agency’s 10-week consultation on the 21-mile stretch between Ellington and Milton held between April and June.

The report, which will be sent to the Planning Inspectorate, raises issues about the lack of information available to the council and to villagers in Hilton.

It says that all of the 31 complaints about the consultation were from Hilton, mainly regarding the lack of information, lack of knowledge and lack of consultation over alternative routes.

The council says that the agency had not completed an Environmental Impact Assessment and Traffic Assessment by the time of the consultation but had preliminary reports available.

The report says: “While it may have been helpful for more detailed information to have been available, the county council does not consider the statutory public consultation to have been inadequate, given the history of the project and the stage in the process.”

It added there was still a chance for residents to have their say on the scheme when it is examined by a planning inspector.

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The report also says that due to the number of previous schemes, other alternative routes have been “extensively examined” and consultations over routes have taken place in 2005, 2006 and 2013.

It also adds that, while it cannot comment on knowledge of agency officers, one member of staff noticed more detailed questions could not be answered.

The council also believes that it was “to some degree constrained” due to the late availability of details, but CCC and the agency do have regular meetings to discuss issues, some of which have resulted in significant changes to the proposal.

Project director Ian Parker said: “We have worked closely with our local authority partners and we are pleased that Cambridgeshire County Council is satisfied the consultation was undertaken within the requirements of the Planning Act 2008.”