The proposed Bridport western access road will be going ahead, with a planning application being approved at the Dorset Council meeting on November 20 for 2.6 kilometres of sealed road alongside a bridge over the Bridport River between Sandy Points Road and Bridport Road.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Dorset Council on November 20, General Manager Tim Watson said that the council’s investment in infrastructure for the region had finally become a reality.
“Long overdue investment in infrastructure became a reality with the adoption of a record $9.5 million 2017/2018 capital works program, which will see work commence on the reconstruction of Bridport’s Bentley Street and the construction of the long awaited Bridport western access road; projects which have been proposed by the community for decades,” he said.
Bridport is currently only accessible by a single road, leaving the community few options to leave in case of emergency or infrastructure failure.
Not all residents in the region are on board with the proposed western access road, however.
Bridport resident Louise Brooker disagrees with the council’s choice to take the road through Wildflower Reserve, as it would destroy animal habitats and tracts of xanthorrhoea bractiata, or shiny grasstree, which is an endangered species of plant.
“By choosing to take the road through the Wildflower Reserve, Dorset Council would be ignoring their own Biodiversity Code as written into the Dorset Interim Planning Scheme of 2013, where it undertakes to protect and enhance the region’s biodiversity,” Ms Brooker said.
“Leaving the Wildflower Reserve intact would leave a sustainable habitat for the Tasmanian Devil and the Spotted Tail Quoll which, from roadkill evidence, both exist in the Reserve.”
Other Bridport residents disagree with the western access road due to the close proximity it will have to their currently quiet, rural properties.
The council said that due to the proposed geometry of the western access road, the impact on both Wildflower Reserve and on residential areas close to the road has been minimised.