Thursday, April 06, 2006

Road to nowhere farce: the sequel.

A sequel to the ridiculous farce of the road to nowhere...

You may recall that developers refused to allow Lincolnshire County Council to open the new Bourne relief road until their spat over building a new primary school was sorted.

The developers were given planning permission for a multi-million housing estate on condition that they provide a relief road and a new primary school to serve the area.

They finished the road, but then had the County Council over a barrel by refusing to hand it over. So the road stayed closed for another four months while a wrangle over the new school festered on.

Eventually, the stalemate was ended and the road was opened. The county council told us that the developers had agreed to build the school after all...

I asked the Conservative Leader of the Council Martin Hill to hold a brief enquiry to learn the lessons of the farce. But he refused, saying it wasn't necessary.

Now the story is unravelling.

This week the County Council have announced that they don't need a new school after all - due to a large number of surplus places in Bourne's exisiting primary schools.

Here's a few questions I'll be asking for starters:

Are the developers to be let off the hook from a legal contract to provide a school?

Is there a compensation clause should the school not be built, bearing in mind the costs of a new schoolo would probably run to some £10 million.

Why have the county council suddenly discovered surplus places at the two existing schools?

If the school was not needed, what could have been provided as part of the Section 106 planning agreement and has the opportunity now been lost?

What a sorry tale of incompetence.

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