Work is to get under way on the final phase of a new Yorkshire link road, after councillors approved plans for its construction.
Doncaster councillors agreed unanimously to the plans for the second part of the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme, (FARRRS), at a planning committee meeting.
The proposal will complete the original vision of the FARRRS scheme, by providing a new direct link from junction three of the M18 to Robin Hood Airport.
The first phase of the scheme from junction three of the M18 to Parrots Corner - known as the Great Yorkshire Way – opened in February.
The second stage, coordinated by Doncaster Council and funded by the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund, will create a one mile connection from Bawtry Road to Hurst Lane.
There will be a new Parrots Corner roundabout, a new Hurst Lane roundabout, and a combined footway and cycleway will also be built.
The land surrounding the proposed road is predominantly open countryside which is mainly used for agricultural purposes with an area of ancient woodland.
The council’s trees and hedgerows department, South Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust objected to the plan because of the loss of ancient woodland, which cannot be replaced.
But, councillors were told that the benefits of the development outweighed the loss of the woodland and would provide many social and economic benefits, including bring in jobs and increasing connectivity across the borough.
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “I am delighted we have reached the next stage of this key regeneration project. The final section will enhance the remarkable transformation this link road is having for Doncaster and particularly our international airport.
“Great Yorkshire Way has already been the catalyst for significant levels of private sector investment which is delivering the expected new jobs, growth and homes for Doncaster and Sheffield City Region. These major economic benefits will continue to be realised with the completion of this major infrastructure scheme.”
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Long-term economic growth requires sustainable investments that build and nurture vibrant communities. Connectivity is absolutely key to that growth and this road vastly accelerates journey times to Sheffield City Region’s fast-growing airport.”
Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “This is a fantastic step forward in terms of connectivity and will make passenger journeys to Doncaster Sheffield Airport even easier.
“The new road, which opened earlier this year, already means quicker and easier journeys to the airport for passengers. We are looking forward to seeing this project getting underway and to bringing the airport even closer for our passengers.”
Once built, the road is expected to help reduce traffic congestion by improving access between local communities to the M18 and the wider motorway network.
Work is set to get underway in the new year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.