A CONTENTIOUS plan to construct a new road through Bodmin's Priory Park looks set to be dropped following a public consultation.
Residents who responded to Cornwall Council's Bodmin Town Framework document have instead opted for an alterative scheme by a majority of 2-1, the Cornish Guardian understands.
Full details of the consultation responses, which cover wide-ranging issues on the future growth of the town, will be presented to Bodmin Town Council and local Cornwall councillors at a meeting on January 29.
Plans for a link road through the park brought out 500 marching protesters early last year, and a petition opposing the scheme received more than 2,000 signatures.
The local authority had favoured the link road as the best solution for improving the town centre, but at the last consultation exercise in October, the council put forward an alternative traffic management scheme as an option, and that has found greater support from residents.
That option involves the simplification of Church Square, by taking out the roundabout and replacing it with a left-in, left-out junction from Turf Street, with a right turn for buses only. This will then create a through route between Priory Road and Dennison Road.
Cornwall Council told residents that under the scheme, Turf Street would remain open to traffic, and that will increase in future. It would still be possible to pedestrianise Fore Street during core shopping hours, but the authority said air quality in Turf Street would get worse due to the increase in traffic volumes associated with the growth of the town.
The Priory Park link road would have seen a new access created, linking Priory Road with St Nicholas Street, enabling Turf Street and Mount Folly to be fully pedestrianised, along with Fore Street.
The new road would have had an impact on Bodmin Town Football Club, with the possible loss of its club house and training pitch.
Steve Rogerson, Cornwall councillor for Bodmin St Petroc, said he too had heard there had been a 2-1 majority in favour of the alternative Church Square option.
"I have not heard officially, but if that is the case, I will be absolutely delighted," he said.
"Every time I walk through Priory Park I sigh deeply at the thought of the possible loss of part of the football fields."
Cornwall councillor for Bodmin St Leonard, Pat Rogerson, said she was looking forward to discussing the findings of the consultation exercise with County Hall officers later this month.
"I am assuming the council will now be adopting the Church Square option as an alternative to the link road, although no one has been provided with the details of the consultation results as yet."