PEOPLE can now have their say on formal plans to transform the A50 in and around Uttoxeter.
The planning application for the first part of the scheme, Project A, has now been officially entered and a formal consultation process is underway.
Project A, if approved, will see the creation of a new junction to support the forthcoming 700-home development on land to the west of Uttoxeter.
The development, for which outline planning permission has been granted, will also include a new business park and possibly a new school.
Mark Winnington, economy boss at Staffordshire County Council, which will deliver Project A on behalf of the Highways Agency, is urging Uttoxeter residents to have their say.
He said: “Following the pre-appliction public consultation, we have looked at the feedback from residents and businesses and have now submitted the planning application.
“I would encourage people to take the time to view the final plans for Project A online, with free internet facilities at Uttoxeter library.”
It is thought the application for Project A will be considered by planning bosses at borough level in October.
If approved, highways chiefs expect work to start in the new year.
As part of the project, the flyover bridge in the west of Uttoxeter will be demolished to make way for the new junction.
But 12 landowners will be forced to give up all or part of their land as the council launches compulsory purchase orders.
Project boss Steve Burrows said: “Negotiations with the land owners concerned are going really well and we’re determined tocome to mutual agreements to purchase this land.
“But compulsory purchase orders, which owners will get a fair market price for their properties, will be set up in the background should any negotiations fail.
“Some people might think they can hold the project to ransom by holding out for inflated prices.
“But we have a duty to tax payers to deliver the project at as reasonable a price as we can and the orders will allow us to ensure we get the land we need.”
More controversy is sure to accompany the council’s application for Project B, which will accommodate JCB’s ambitious expansion plans.
JCB’s plan, which includes a new factory in Beamhurst and the expansion of the Rocester World Headquarters, could create 8,000 jobs.
And Project B, which will see the McDonalds and Derby Road roundabouts replaced by grade-separated junctions to, crucially for the digger giant, ease congestion on the A50.
Thirty-seven landowners could be forced to give up land, with three families set to lose their homes altogether.
Comments can be made online at apps.staffordshire.gov.uk/CPLand/Details.aspx?applicationID=134861 or at the County Buildings, in Stafford.