BUSINESS leaders have given their backing to the controversial South Western Relief Road.
Developer Cala Homes says the road will help deal with with the traffic generated by the creation of a planned 3,500 Garden Village on the former Long Marston airfield.
But protest group Stratford Residents Action Group are fighting the building of the two mile road which would run between Shipston Road near Orchard Hill Farm, and Luddington Road, near Stratford Racecourse. They argue it would bring increased traffic and pollution. They want to see a ring road built around Stratford.
Members of the South Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce recently visited the Garden Village site, along with Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi.
Branch chair Larry Coltman said it was key adequate infrastructure was created to allow the garden village to be as sustainable as possible and to limit impact on an already congested town centre.
He added: “The chamber welcomes a road as, without it, the already considerable traffic problems in Stratford town centre would be made even worse and that would have an impact on everyone.
“We are fully aware that the proposed route is very contentious and clearly that is a matter which the authorities need to work through but it is vital that improvements and additions are made if the Garden Village is to be absorbed into the area and becomes the success everyone would like it to be.
“Certainly, being on site brought home the size and scale of the development which will be brought on stream over the next two decades.
“Housing supply and the ability of young people to get on the housing ladder are a pressing issue in the Stratford area as they are elsewhere, and it is vital that a mix of housing in terms of size and affordability is provided.
“That is clearly easier to do when you are starting with a fresh site and we look forward to seeing the garden village make a positive impact on the housing issue.”