THE 600-yard ‘missing link’ in a £40 million road is on schedule to be built by April next year.

As part of the government funded Lancashire Growth Deal, the Pennines Gateways project will deliver improvements at three of the main gateways into Blackburn off the M65 motorway at junctions 4, 5 and 6.

Members were updated on the progression of the scheme at a Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board meeting.

A price war over a tiny parcel of land had left Blackburn with a £1 million road to nowhere.

The dispute with supermarket giant Tesco was finally resolved in 2016 and now the section of road from the Red Lion roundabout near the M65 Junction 6 towards Tesco’s Hill Street superstore can finally be completed.

Members also approved plans to start land and property negotiation related to the scheme.

The project consists of three infrastructure packages at Furthergate, North Blackburn and South East Blackburn.

Between April 2018 and March 2021, it is proposed to complete the Burnley Road link road from Red Lion Roundabout to Gorse Street and a new signalised Gorse Street junction.

There will also be a Brownhill roundabout upgrade, Pleckgate Road and Ramsgreave Drive junction improvements plus Whalley Old Road and Whitebirk Drive junction capacity upgrades.

Haslingden Road highway improvements including widening and upgraded roundabouts at major access points plus new a new link road to Link Blackamoor Road with Roman Road also form part of the project.

Council bosses say detailed consultation has taken place in relation to the Furthergate package including the completion of the Burnley Road Link Road as part of the Pennine Reach major transport project, and a leaflet drop and drop-in exhibition is proposed.

A public consultation event was held last month relating to the North Blackburn proposals, where members of the public were able to speak to council officers and members.

Further events are planned for South East Blackburn and Blackamoor by way of a leaflet drop and drop-in exhibition. Land and property holders are to be consulted in detail on an individual basis.

The majority of funding for the project is to be provided by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, which has secured £320 million from the Government to support economic growth in the area.

According to the report, the LEP will provide £12 million of the £13.4m scheme, with the remaining £1.4m to be provided by the council.

The £1.4m local contribution will come from the council’s Local Transport Plan.

The report states: “Investment at these adjoining gateways will extend the concept of the Hyndburn – Burnley – Pendle Growth Corridor to the M65 Growth Corridor and will release the potential of a number of adjacent strategic

sites to attract and accelerate new development opportunities.

“Major transport improvements will act as a catalyst for new housing and commercial development, contributing to the delivery of the council’s adopted Local Plan targets for new homes, businesses and jobs.”