A TEMPORARY link road, built to take traffic while Royal Wootton Bassett’s three railway bridges were upgraded for electrification, can stay – but only if one end is removed.

The landowners, whose bid to retain all the route between Marlborough Road and Hunts Mill Road was refused by Wiltshire Council in August, decided to accept a compromise put forward by residents who were worried about dust and noise from trucks.

Their latest application, which has just been given permission, removes the Marlborough Road end at the back of Dunnington Road, while the rest of the route remains in place as an agricultural access.

Savills, agents for Oxford University Endowment Management, told the council: “While the applicant believes that the initial proposal would not give rise to any substantial harm to the amenity of neighbouring dwellings, the new proposals adhere to the wishes of the residents and would also continue to result in no harm.

“This proposal offers the same benefits of enabling agricultural access without the need to use New Road which does through a residential area.”

Maurice Hopkins, who represented the Dunnington Road residents said they did not oppose the latest application because they were, in essence, what he and his neighbours had put forward for the eastern end of the road.

Network Rail had also told them planning for the restoration of the site at that spot was at an advanced stage and engineers were awaiting instructions to start.

John Parker, who lives in Durrington Road, said: “I and other residents were prepared to compromise on the former application and as far as I am concerned, if OUEM adhere to the alternative proposal in full, I am prepared to accept the new application.

“This has been a long unexpected exercise for us in the Dunnington Road area and we have had to fight a long drawn out battle to achieve that which was promised by both Network Rail and Wilts Council prior to the road being built.”

He stressed they expected the council to ensure the promised tree planting and landscaping was carried out.

The compromise did not meet with universal approval. Bath Road resident Alan Norman maintained his objections, pointing to the pledge by Network Rail that the road would be removed after upgrades to the bridges were completed.