Belgrave Flyover demolition: One month to object to Sainsbury's plans
People have a month to object to plans to decommission Belgrave Flyover.
The Leicester landmark, between the city centre and Belgrave Road, is earmarked for demolition as part of a plan by Sainsbury's to relocate from its nearby store to a new site in Rushey Mead.
The firm has agreed to meet the multi-million pound cost of dismantling the concrete structure, which is nearly 40 years old.
Planning permission has been granted but before Sainsbury's can proceed with work to pull it down, the Government has to approve an order to stop the traffic.
Both the supermarket chain and Leicester City Council hope the matter will be a formality, but a 28-day consultation on the issue began yesterday.
Anyone who opposes the closure can write to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin.
Leicester Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: "I can't imagine very many people would want to save it. At least I hope they don't.
"It is an unwanted colossus and needs removing as soon as possible.
"It was built as a dual carriageway back in the day but has only ever been used as single carriageway and that is why it is much bigger than it ever needed to be. Good riddance."
Sainsbury's yesterday confirmed its intention to remove the flyover by the end of next year.
A spokeswoman said work would commence once the new store in Melton Road, Rushey Mead, had opened but did not give a firm date for that.
The company hopes to flatten the 25-year-old Belgrave store and build 10 shops and eight business units in its place.
"We hope the stopping up order will be a formality," the Sainsbury's spokeswoman said.
"We can say that nothing will happen in Belgrave until the new store in Rushey Mead opens.
"We have now commissioned a company to actively market the Belgrave site."
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said there had been "considerable interest" in the Belgrave site.
"But nobody will definitely commit to it until they are certain the flyover will be demolished," he said.
Sir Peter said the removal of the flyover would create a much more pleasant environment in the area and allow better connections to be established between The Golden Mile and the city centre.
Plans for the demolition of the flyover can be seen at Leicester City Council's headquarters, in New Walk.
Any objections raised over the next few weeks will be sent to Sainsbury's to be considered.
There is an unlikely possibility that objections could trigger a public inquiry into the stopping up of the route.