RSPB ready to drop A11 objections

A LEADING conservation charity is preparing to withdraw its opposition to the dualling of the missing link of the A11 following a positive meeting with highways chiefs.

A LEADING conservation charity is preparing to withdraw its opposition to the dualling of the missing link of the A11 following a positive meeting with highways chiefs.

The RSPB last month said it was prepared to force a public inquiry into the upgrade of last single carriageway stretch of road between Norwich and London following concerns about the impact on the protected stone curlew.

The society yesterday said it was getting closer to resolving its objections to the A11 Thetford-Barton Mills scheme following talks with the Highways Agency and its consultants on Friday.

Officials from the Highways Agency agreed to undertake a detailed environmental assessment of the impact of the nine mile dualling project on the stone curlew and local wildlife.


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A spokeswoman for the RSPB yesterday said the charity would be in a position to withdraw its objections following the satisfactory conclusion and mitigation measures proposed by the environmental study, which is set to be completed in two or three weeks.

Mary Norden, RSPB conservation officer for Breckland, added: “We are confident that the Highways Agency and their consultants, together with the help of the RSPB and Natural England, will undertake the appropriate work needed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of the road improvements.”

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“This means that they can then provide the most suitable mitigation land for our very special wildlife here in the Brecks and the future of the stone curlew population shouldn't be in danger.”

The A11 upgrade, which is estimated to cost between �107m and �147m, is scheduled to start at the end of 2010 -even if a public inquiry is called later this year.

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “The Highways Agency does not comment on meetings with individual objectors. We are working to resolve all the objections we have received. If they cannot be resolved then it will be necessary to hold a Public Inquiry this autumn.”

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