Anger as mystery surrounds objectors who have held up multimillion-pound Stubbington BypassÂ

TWO objections that have delayed a long-awaited bypass scheme have not been made public and people are asking why.

Thursday, 13th September 2018, 11:07 am
Updated Thursday, 13th September 2018, 11:13 am
The B3334 Titchfield Road, near The Equestrian Centre, where it is likely to be joined by the proposed Stubbington bypass at a new roundabout Picture: Malcolm Wells

Councillors and residents are questioning why the identities of two objectors to the Stubbington Bypass have not been published publicly as the Department of Transport has scheduled a planning inquiry due to the objections which is to be held on November 26 and 27.

And a warning has been issued that any further delays to the six months already predicted could throw the whole scheme into doubt.

Chairman of Hill Head Residents' Association Bill Hutchinson said: '˜As a former highways inspector myself, I know of no good reason why the objections to the Stubbington Bypass should not be made available by Hampshire.'

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Hampshire County Council's website only states that one objection is from a statutory undertaker of utilities on the B3334 Gosport Road and the other is from a member of the public living outside the works area in southern Fareham

Mr Hutchinson added: '˜All objections to Fareham's planning applications are posted online for the public to see and there is no reason whatever for this to be treated differently by Hampshire.'

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said: '˜It is a matter for the local authority to decide what information they choose to publish.'

But a spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: '˜The objections were sent to the Department for Transport and not to Hampshire County Council, in accordance with defined guidelines.

'˜The County Council is awaiting instructions from the Department for Transport regarding the publication of details of the Inquiry.' 

The inquiry is thought to delay the project by at least six months.

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward said: '˜I agree that objectors should be made public. 

'˜We now have the entire £34m cost of the bypass in place and it is I feel wrong of the Department for Transport to hold an inquiry into this much-needed and fully-funded project which has planning consent and landowner agreement.'

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said: '˜In order to minimise the risk of delays to this important local scheme and in accordance with the statutory process, the county council opened negotiations with landowners to secure all the necessary land at the same time as an application was made for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and a Side Road Order (SRO) 2018.

'˜Objections to this were received by the Department for Transport who determined that a public inquiry was necessary.'

Concern has also been raised that the delay could affect the funding for the project. 

Cllr Humby added: '˜As a result of this, the scheme is likely to be pushed back by approximately six months, assuming that all the procedures are completed without any further delay.

'˜While it is regretful that we have encountered this delay, I'm confident the scheme can be completed within available funding.

'˜However any further delays may have an impact on funding arrangements or the viability of the scheme.'