Nick Rushton, the leader of Leicestershire County Council, has issued the following statement following Cabinet discussions today about the Melton distributor road:
Nick Rushton said: "I want to stress that the county council is committed to building the northern, eastern and southern legs of the distributor road, the whole scheme.
"We have already invested £5m and have allocated £16m for the road, and to improve transport in Melton. We are also prepared to invest another £13m to build the southern leg. We have secured £49m from the Government for the northern and eastern legs.
“The question of a masterplan is about providing an assurance to the county council that we can start to invest over £160m to build the entire road and the necessary infrastructure so that the new communities have the facilities which residents will expect. Without that, there is no guarantee the money will come back from developers.
Without a masterplan, to show the detail of the planned development and timescales, no reasonable authority would invest that amount of money, especially given the current economic uncertainty.Person:Nick Rushton, county council leader
“It couldn’t be clearer what the county council requires and it is a shame it has not been provided. We know that the Melton Local Plan required a comprehensive masterplan to be produced after consultation, but that hasn’t happened. We can’t afford to wait any longer if the road is to be built.
“In the interests of the people who live and work in Melton, and to help the town grow in a sustainable way, the county council is prepared to commission and pay for the masterplanning work which is necessary for us to be able to invest as we want to.
"That's a very reasonable offer and it is now over to the borough council and its leadership to decide what they want to do to complete a project which everyone wants to happen."