Search for a builder delays work on road

Relief road
Relief road
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A NEW delay has hit a section of the long-awaited Bognor Regis relief road.

The setback will push the completion of the Bersted half of the road into next year.

Five subsidiaries of the firm building the single carriageway between the A259 and Rowan Way have been placed into administration.

The demise of sections of McArdle means the developer of the associated housing site, Berkeley Homes, is having to seek a new road builder.

Building work on the multi-million pound road of about 1km in length was due to have started this month after a bedding in period for the initial groundworks.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “What is going on will push that work back to the end of July.

“That means that the finish of the road, which was due to be in November, is now unlikely to take place before the end of January.

“We are meeting Berkeley Homes in a few weeks to, hopefully, get a clearer idea of what is going on.”

Building the relief road was a condition imposed on the developers when they gained planning permission for more than 700 homes on what is known as site six.

The road’s Bersted section will cross from the A259 near Babsham Lane to Rowan Way, diagonally opposite its junction with Ash Grove.

A further, eastern section, will go between the A259 at Flansham and the A29.

The road was due to have been built in 2007 but the recession caused a series of delays. The tough economic conditions also limited the number of houses which were sold and which triggered the need to start building the road.

Bognor Regis town mayor Paul Wells is among the residents of the new estate.

He said: “It’s absolutely essential the relief road is completed as soon as possible.

“We have got all the houses being built and we need the infrastructure to go with them.

“Without the new road, the existing roads are just going to be turned into one big bottleneck. Hopefully, the problems around the building company can be resolved soon.”

The joint administrators of McArdle said they believed its core business remained strong and should lead to a successful sale.