West Link given the green light to go ahead
The Highland Council welcomes confirmation of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) by Scottish Ministers which will enable the West Link to go ahead.
The Highland Council has today been advised that Scottish Ministers have confirmed the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) promoted in respect of the West Link road project.
Negotiations with the land owners concerned led to the withdrawal of all objections to the CPO saving all parties the expense of taking part in an Inquiry. The negotiations focussed on resolving land access and boundary treatment details.
Council has appointed the Inverness Office of District Valuer Services (DVS) to carry out valuation assessments for the purchase of the land required for the scheme. The DVS operates completely independently of the Council and is the specialist property arm of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
The Highland Council (West Link Road (A8082), Stage 1 – Various Footpaths, Inverness)(Stopping Up) Order 2014 was confirmed by Scottish Ministers on 6 August 2015, following a hearing that was held as a result of two unresolved objections. This Order relates to various footpaths between the River Ness and Dores Road, Inverness which will be diverted to allow the West link road project to be constructed.
Chair of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Audrey Sinclair said: “We will be holding our first Local Community Liaison Group meeting on 31 August. The purpose of this group is to ensure the local communities are fully informed of the project and have a forum where any questions can be addressed. Representatives of local community councils have been invited. We will also be writing out to local residents with information.”
Provost of Inverness, Cllr Helen Carmichael added: “The West Link Road will bring a huge number of benefits to the area, not least reducing congestion in the city centre. It will also bring the boost of jobs and associated income to the area during the construction phase.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson welcomed the news saying: “This is excellent news for Inverness and the surrounding area. We can finally get on with the work of building the road. The West-Link project will deliver a greatly improved infrastructure to support the future development, growth and prosperity of Inverness and indeed the whole of the Highlands.”
Preparatory works are scheduled to begin next month and further information on the project timescales will be issued at the start of September.
- Planning approval for the West Link was issued on the 14th April 2014 following consideration at the South Planning Application Committee on the 8th April 2014.
- Highland Council agreed a total of £55 million allocated funding to progress the West Link and enhanced sports facilities on 12 March 2015.
- The detailed costs of the West Link scheme are reported at £36.6M (at December 2014 prices). This compares to the cost of £34.398 reported in September 2013.
- The Council also approved the enhanced sports facilities made possible by the West Link project. Funding was agreed for the Rugby pitches and facilities at Canal Parks (£4.1 million) and the redevelopment of Torvean Golf Course (£8.2 million).
- Due to the extended construction programme, with works anticipated to be complete in 2020/21 and applying construction inflation* over this period an allocation in the capital programme of £43.35m was approved.
- The footpath orders were confirmed on 6 August 2015
- The West Link will deliver significant economic benefits to the city and surrounding area. It is anticipated that almost £4 in economic benefit would be achieved for every £1 spent on building the road alone.
- The scheme enables construction jobs and housing development and the revenue that would bring to the region. Developer contributions of £3.75 million are anticipated to be received following the development of land for housing
- The West Link will also reduce traffic congestion, improve journey times and support active travel through cycling and walking.
- The main construction for stage 1 (east of the canal) will commence in Spring 2016 with completion in late 2017. Stage 2 will be completed in 2020 following the relocation of the golf course
- The existing facilities will be enhanced to provide a community facility managed by Highlife Highland with completion programmed for 2018.
West-Link connecting our communities