NEW planning conditions have been approved for a delayed link road that has risen to an estimated cost of £50m.

With the Parkside Freeport aiming to bring more than a thousand jobs to the borough, a road is currently being constructed to link the M6 motorway and A49 road in Newton with the development.

The Parkside Link Road will allow greater access to the site for vehicles and HGVS, and most importantly, will divert traffic away from local roads.

Although the link road was initially set to be completed at the end of 2023, this has been pushed back to spring of this year and further conditions have been approved to deliver a "high-quality landscaping and biodiversity environment".

Warrington Guardian: The road will link Parkside to the M6 and A49The road will link Parkside to the M6 and A49 (Image: St Helens Council)
Following a planning committee meeting at St Helens Town Hall on Tuesday, February 6, a Section 73 application was heard to increase the radius of the link road to allow larger vehicles to access the plots on site more easily.

Significant changes have also been made to tree planting and landscaping, including ponds to reduce flood risk, which will take the project's overall biodiversity net gain to 54 percent.

Compared to the original planning permission of 38 percent, this will help make Parkside become "one of the greenest employment sites in the region".  

Warrington Guardian: Parkside is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs into the boroughParkside is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs into the borough (Image: St Helens Council)
At the early stages of the link road planning, St Helens Council stated that it is "confident the project will be delivered within the budget, which includes a suitable risk allocation for potential cost increases going forward."

The initial cost of the link road, which is being funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, was estimated to be £40m but this has since risen to £50m.

The council has also reiterated that construction of the link road is scheduled to finish by spring 2024, later than the initial estimation of late 2023.

However, to be fully operational, junction works on the A572/A573 and Junction 22 of the M6 need to be completed.

For those who have attended the Parkside Forum events, this has raised concerns that it could be late this year until the road is completely open for use.

This potential delay has brought further concerns about traffic around Newton and Winwick, with previous road infrastructure projects resulting in long delays in recent months.

Warrington Guardian: Councillors have celebrated the ambitious projectCouncillors have celebrated the ambitious project (Image: St Helens Council)
Welcoming approval of the new planning conditions, Councillor Seve Gomez Aspron, Deputy Leader of St Helens Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, said:

“Parkside Link Road is essentially an impressive £50m bit of public infrastructure and shows that we’re delivering what we said we were going to do.

“It’s testament to the ambition of the council that this is probably one of the biggest infrastructure projects we’ve had in the borough for years and I can’t wait for it to be open and used.”

For more information on the Parkside Link Road scheme, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/plr