Beds, Herts & Bucks

M1-A6 link road: Luton council seeks judicial review

M1 near Luton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The new link road will connect junction 11a of the M1 at Dunstable/A5 to the A6 to the north of Luton, close to Streatley

The decision by a neighbouring council to seek a judicial review into the building of £64.6m link road has been called "deeply disappointing".

Luton Borough Council said it wants to ensure Central Bedfordshire Council has "fully considered the impact".

The M1 to A6 Link Road was approved by Central Bedfordshire in January after the government decided against having a public inquiry.

Work is meant to start on the 2.75-mile (4.4km) road in early 2021.

The single and dual carriageway road will have a 50mph (80km/h) speed limit.

'Significant legal bills'

The aim was to improve access to Luton Airport, Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Linslade, and the benefits would be "considerable", Central Bedfordshire Council said.

A spokeswoman for the Conservative-run council, said: "It will relieve congestion and reduce HGVs from other routes.

"It is deeply disappointing Luton Borough Council is intending to challenge the decision-making process for the M1-A6.

"This action will result in significant legal bills having to be paid from public funds."

Paul Castleman, portfolio holder for planning at Labour-run Luton Borough Council, said: "Central Bedfordshire Local Plan Examination Inspectors questioned whether a link road was needed.

"The Inspectors' letters have not been properly considered in determining the planning application. Therefore we have no option other than to proceed with a JR [judicial review]".

A Luton Borough Council spokeswoman said they wanted the decision delayed so that "Local Plan inspectors can view the scheme and make sure Central Bedfordshire Council has fully considered the potential impact of the proposed development on Luton residents and businesses."

The plans include 4,000 homes and a rail freight interchange in Sundon.

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