COUNCIL chiefs have announced a major U-turn on a multi-million pound road scheme which would involve a flyover being built across Bournemouth’s Spur Road.

BCP Council intends to drastically scale back the controversial plans for the Wessex Fields area.

The council still plans to complete a new link road from the dual carriageway to the site it bought for employment use near Cooper Dean.

But the road will stop at the Wessex Fields boundary instead of carrying on to the town’s hospital and law courts, pending a public consultation over the use of the site.

An unfunded plan for a road crossing the A338 at Holdenhurst has been put on hold – and a senior councillor said he could not see “any enthusiasm” for pursuing it.

The Unity Alliance running BCP ordered a review of the Wessex Fields plans pursued by the former Bournemouth council. Its new proposals will go to the cabinet on September 30.

Cllr Mark Howell, cabinet member for regeneration and culture, said: “The recommendation is not to proceed with the construction of the part of the road planned to be built on the Wessex Fields site as construction may compromise the emerging masterplan, or encourage through traffic before environmental mitigation features are introduced to reduce the amount of vehicle journeys in the surrounding area.

“We have made it clear that as a cabinet we want to see more emphasis on sustainable transport options and not just focus on increasing road-space for cars.”

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership had contributed £8million to the widening of the dual carriageway and the building of the Wessex Fields link – estimated to cost £12.5m. The scheme was expected to help create 500 jobs and support 10,000.

Even after scaling it back, the council will need to raise more money.

Cllr Howell believed a link to Deansleigh Road, off Castle Lane, would be needed. But of the flyover at Holdenhurst, he said: “I’m certainly not sensing any enthusiasm for that.”

Friends of Riverside campaigner Conor O’Luby gave the change of policy a “cautious welcome”.

“The former administration’s contempt for local opinion has clearly been recognised by the Unity Alliance, as has the need to focus on sustainable transport to tackle the climate change emergency,” he said.

Holdenhurst campaigner Wendy Sharp applauded the council. She called for “real, meaningful consultation this time”.