Work on long-awaited Dunmow bypass finally gets under way

PUBLISHED: 10:58 04 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:59 04 April 2013

Work has started on the bypass

Work has started on the bypass

Archant

FOR more than 20 years it has stood unfinished, a road to nowhere for drivers coming into Dunmow from the north and a permanent sign of short-sightedness from the council’s planning committee.

Now work is finally under way on the Dunmow bypass – and it should be completed within 10 months.

Once the 500-metre stretch of road is constructed it will link Woodlands Way to the B184 and also pave the way for 125 homes to be built on the Woodlands Park development.

Cllr Keith Mackman, a member of Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee, said: “This is a problem we have had for a long, long time and I take great satisfaction from the fact we are now building a legacy for years to come.

“All of the right measures have been taken. I am hopeful that work might even be completed by September.”

District council leader Jim Ketteridge believes the start of the work will be a welcome sight to residents.

He said: “For people who have been driving past here for so long, wondering when they are going to see work start, I am sure this will be a welcome sight. Once the work has been completed this will benefit all of the people of Dunmow.”

When permission was given for developers to build on Woodlands Park in 1991, it was agreed that Wickford Development Company would start on the bypass once the 651st home was occupied. Progress was slow and it was looking unlikely to happen until a breakthrough last July when the planning committee approved plans by Bovis Homes to build a further 125 homes on the site, which triggered a new agreement for the bypass to be built.

Cliff Neale, a consultant surveyor for Wickford, which will build the bypass, said the company has a good working relationship with the county council, Essex Highways and its contractors E J Taylor and Sons, adding: “We have an agreement in place to complete the work as early as is practicable.”

Once work on the bypass is complete, it will allow motorists coming from the west to join the northbound B184 without driving through the town centre.

Vicky Presland, manager of development management for Essex Highways, said the council was pleased construction work had finally started.

“We have inspected the site and will carry on making sure everything is satisfactory,” she said.

• WHAT do you think? Will the bypass be a benefit for Dunmow? E-mail james.walker@archant.co.uk

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