Plea to Falkirk Council: build DEAR now

Falkirk Council has been urged to build the Denny Eastern Access Road now
Falkirk Council has been urged to build the Denny Eastern Access Road now

Falkirk Council was told only a power change at the top will see work finally commence on the vital Denny Eastern 
Access Road.

Councillor Brian McCabe made his statement during a meeting of the full council yesterday (Wednesday) as members studied a report on the treasury management interim review.

When the administration’s £12 million capital budget underspend came up, opposition councillors began to question why this money was not being used to kickstart the stalled DEAR road improvement project.

Councillor McCabe claimed: “This administration does not represent the best for Denny and until we change this administration I don’t see this project going ahead.”

His comments came after Councillor Martin Oliver put forward an amendment, defeated 17 votes to 14, that the council look into using the underspend to fund DEAR.

He said: “We are going at a snail’s pace at the moment, disabling housebuilding in the area rather than enabling it.”

Councillor John McNally said the traffic problems at Denny Cross were getting worse every week and that DEAR would relieve this issue.

Members heard the project currently relies on external funding from developers like Bett Homes looking to built housing in the area, but that meant construction of the DEAR could take up to 25 years.

Council officers said the local authority would have to pay the entire £7 million project cost itself if it went ahead and built the DEAR now and there would be little chance of getting any money back from developers once it was built.

Council Leader Craig Martin said: “If a report like this was to go forward it should include other major projects like the Avon Gorge.”