Broughton 'burdened by new traffic'

Image caption,
Work on the new road network at the planned business park is under way

A Flintshire village has become a "traffic island" as new homes and shops are built nearby, it is claimed.

Work at Broughton includes the Warren Hall Business Park, with plans for a 120-bed hotel, and two housing developments close to its retail park.

Community council planning chair Derek Butler said another A55 junction was needed at the other end of the village.

Flintshire council said planned road improvements had not been made due to the economic climate.

Mr Butler said people in the village had long campaigned for a "comprehensive, holistic development" of Broughton rather than "piecemeal ad hoc" development.

The village is home to the Airbus factory, which makes wings for the Airbus fleet, and is one of the UK's biggest firms, employing people from across north Wales.

Last September, work began on a £3.6m road network designed to improve access to the planned business park.

The Welsh Assembly Government awarded £2m to the junction, the Warren Bank interchange.

Mr Butler said a separate interchange was needed to cope with current and expected traffic through the village, and he claimed this was backed by Airbus. Airbus has been asked to comment.

He said: "There are major developments in and around Broughton. It's a hub for north east Wales.

"But when does a village become a town? We have become a traffic island. We bear all the burden of that through traffic without getting any of the benefit."

He said assembly government officials gave permission for an extra junction on that stretch of the A55 as the shopping area grew.

"[The community councillors] believe that square footage has been exceeded. The junction would enable people to bypass Broughton for the next 10, 20 or 30 years," he said.

Mr Butler, who was a county councillor for 20 years, said it was the "short-term approach to making these decisions that will continue creating these anomalies".

Image caption,
A new junction is dependent on the retail park being extended

Flintshire council's head of planning Andy Farrow said Broughton's infrastructure was a key consideration in any development.

He said planning permission was dependent on the extension of the shopping park.

"This has not been implemented and given the current economic climate does not seem likely to come forward.

'Potential users'

"Without this, the linked improvements to the interchange cannot go ahead."

He said the junction improvements were not a requirement of either the assembly government or Flintshire's highways team and had been offered by the retail park's developer.

Mr Farrow said the review had found there was capacity within the current network and junctions in and around the shopping park to accommodate current and future traffic growth from development.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said every effort was being made to make the retail park of the highest environmental and design quality.

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