Council to buy 24 plots of land so major Sherwood Forest road improvement project can progress
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The authority plans to buy the land and rights on the A614 Ollerton Road/Old Rufford Road, as well as the nearby A6097 as multi-million-pound improvements edge closer.
It has been progressing with the scheme for several years as a way of boosting the local economy and improving connectivity across the county.
Five key junctions will be improved across the two roads, including enlarging the existing site at the A614 Ollerton roundabout, a notorious bottleneck.
Road safety improvements are also promised at the White Post roundabout in Farnsfield, alongside “geometric improvements” at the A6097/A614 intersection at Warren Hill, as well as two further A6097 junctions.
Planning permission has already been granted for the improvements and the council must now ensure it legally owns land – leading to a decision approved the purchasing of 24 plots of land near two of the junctions.
Eight plots around Ollerton Roundabout, measuring about 1.3 acres combined, will be bought to enable “carriageway construction, landscaping and habitat provision, new signage and a new bus link”.
Seven further temporary plots, totalling about one acre, will be bought to provide safe working access during construction.
A further nine plots will be bought to allow work at the A6097 Kirk Hill Junction in East Bridgford.
In a report, the council said: “Without acquiring the land and rights, the proposed works cannot be delivered.”
The purchases have been approved by Coun Keith Girling, cabinet member for economic development and asset management.
It came just weeks after Coun Girling confirmed costs for the wider project had risen significantly, leading to a sixth junction being removed from planning.
Further work was also planned at the A614/Mickledale Lane junction in Bilsthorpe, including a potential new roundabout and link road, but it was removed from the scheme due to rising costs.
Overall, initial budgets for the wider project were originally £28.6 million but have risen to £45.3m due to inflation and increased fees.
The Ollerton works also rose from £10.7m to £17.2m and the authority said it needed to remove Mickledale Lane to ensure it could still deliver the major scheme.
This allowed project costs to drop to £34.4m, with £24.3m from the Department for Education, £1.75m in developer contributions and £8.35m from the council.
Coun Girling previously said Mickledale Lane is still “strategically in need of improvement”, but will be addressed through a separate future project.
He said: “Costs of construction projects have been steadily increasing. This is something we couldn’t have attributed and we’re not alone.”
The council said it could not progress with the scheme at the Leapool Roundabout – designed to reduce delays on the A60 – because building costs had increased since the money was allocated, although the authority plans to safeguard the land for a possible future scheme.