Council approves powers for ‘vital’ M5 project

M5 junction 10Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Under the plans, the improved junction would open in 2024

Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) could be made in order to ensure a £219m project to upgrade a motorway junction near Cheltenham goes ahead.

Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet has agreed to use the powers to purchase land, if required, as part of the major scheme at the M5 junction 10.

The project will make the junction two-way, giving access from the motorway both northbound and southbound.

A public consultation on the plans is expected to take place in the autumn.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The funding will be used to improve access northbound and southbound with a new link road into Cheltenham

Councillor Nigel Moor explained the council had received a funding grant from Homes England and it had to meet certain contract conditions imposed by the government.

“One condition asks us to provide evidence of our commitment to use CPO powers if required,” he said in an online meeting on 22 July.

The powers could be used if land were required to be bought for highway works, but councillor Moor added the “clear preference” would be to negotiate settlements with any landowners affected.

Junction 10 currently has no access to join the motorway to travel south, and there is no exit for traffic coming from the south.

‘Important step forward’

The council says the junction is essential for the county’s economy and would link the M5 into west Cheltenham to 1,100 new homes, a school and a cyber business park.

It will also hope it will help solve long-standing traffic congestion issues in Cheltenham caused by motorists travelling across the town on local roads to reach junction 11.

“I hope we won’t have to use these powers but this is another important step forward in delivering this vital scheme for the future of Gloucestershire’s economy,” said councillor Patrick Molyneux.

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