Dorset

Bournemouth hospital road junction approved

A338 near Cob Barn Image copyright Google
Image caption The plans were amended to protect a 16th Century barn alongside the dual carriageway

Plans to redesign the road network near Bournemouth's main hospital have been approved, although the decision could be overruled.

The plans for a new junction and link road off the A338 dual carriageway have been referred to the secretary of state by Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood.

Councillors approved the scheme at a special planning meeting on Monday.

But a decision notice can not be issued until the secretary of state decides whether to call it in.

The Wessex Fields scheme, east of Royal Bournemouth Hospital, has been opposed by residents who say it will damage the green belt.

Bournemouth Borough Council said the scheme would relieve congestion and create jobs.

Last week, Mr Ellwood said he had asked Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire to call in the decision, arguing the council's position as applicant, landowner and decision-maker had led to "inevitable and unavoidable bias".

A council spokeswoman said: "Last night, members of Bournemouth's Planning Board voted six to one to support the recommendation to grant planning permission subject to the outcome of the secretary of state's decision on whether the matter should be called in.

"We are now awaiting the outcome of the secretary of state's decision."

The plans had been recommended for approval by consultants Blueprint Planning which acted as planning officer to "aid capacity" at the council.

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