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Development consent for A38 roundabout replacements granted

Words: Laura Edgar
A38, Markeaton Park, Derby / iStock-152973063

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has granted a development consent order (DCO) for the construction, operation and maintenance of three replacement roundabouts on the A38 in Derby.

The roundabouts are known as the Kingsway, Markeaton and Little Eaton junctions.

Proposed by Highways England, the application form for the development sought permission for a “comprehensive upgrade to the capacity” of the A38 in Derby. This comprises the creation of three new grade separated junctions at the three existing roundabout junctions at the A38/A5111 at Kingsway, the A38/A52 at Markeaton and the A38/A61 at Little Eaton.

The roads in both directions would be widened from two to three lanes between Kingsway junction and the Kedleston road junction, according to the form.

The development falls within the administrative boundaries of Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Erewash Borough Council.

The examining authority, the Planning Inspectorate, recommended that the DCO be made.

In his decision letter, Shapps noted that when long journeys pass through Derby encountering local trips, delays and queues at the Kingsway, Markeaton and Little Eaton junctions occur. The development, he wrote, “aims to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion at the three A38 junctions by allowing through traffic on the A38 to continue without the need to negotiate each of  the three roundabouts and traffic signals”.

The transport secretary also notes that the Derby City Core Strategy (DCCS) and the local transport plans “consider that future development would be severely restricted if the proposed development cannot be funded and delivered”. The DCCS, in addition, sets out a provision for a minimum of 11,000 new homes and 199 hectares (gross) of new employment land; without this development, Shapps points out, “the planned growth would be adversely affected”.

Shapps agrees with the examining authority that the development would help to facilitate housing and economic growth.

On biodiversity and ecological conservation, the examining authority concluded that Highways England had “properly considered” a full range of sites, habitats and species in its applications and that appropriate weight was attached to the potential impacts of the development on them. Shapps agrees with the examining authority that Highways England’s approach to assessing 'no net loss’ is “satisfactory and enables the full range of biodiversity gains and losses to be taken into consideration”.

Shapps believes there is “clear justification” for approving the development and he is satisfied that issues have been addressed. He accepted the examining authority’s recommendation and granted the DCO.

The transport secretary’s decision letter and all documents relating to the development can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Image credit | iStock