A late bid to derail the Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR) plans was unsuccessful on Wednesday as councillors voted to approve the second and largest phase of work on the multi million pound bridge project.
Planning convener Roz McColl said the blueprints were “put through their paces” as the Perth and Kinross Council committee finally voted through the expansive infrastructure project.
Permission has now been granted for realigning the A9 north of the Inveralmond Roundabout, a new bridge over the Highland railway line, a road linking Scone to the shores of the Tay at Stormontfield and roundabouts on the route.
The controversial plans came before committee on Wednesday after months of research and consultations, with council officers recommending the proposals be rubber-stamped.
After hearing pleas to rethink the designs by Scone and Coupar Angus community councils, along with councillors and residents, committee members decided to sign off on the £118m bridge.
Representatives from the community watchdogs pointed at chemical particulates in the air along the connecting roads caused by vehicles braking as the speed limit changes multiple times along the stretch, among other fears.
However, after hearing the concerns over air pollution, as well as removal of ancient woodland, traffic worries and how an influx of lorries could impact the proposed Scone North housing plans, councillors voted the plans through by 11 votes to two.
Kinross-shire councillors Callum Purves and Michael Barnacle were keen to see planners find an alternative route and they voted to refuse permission.
Conservative Mr Purves pointed to NHS Tayside’s comments on the plans, having campaigned for more input from the health board in the planning process for some time.
Director of public health Dr Drew Walker told Perth and Kinross Council in February he had concerns about air pollution and nitrogen dioxide levels around adjacent land earmarked for houses and a school.
However, council bosses did not consider the health chief’s letter to be a formal objection.
Ms McColl said it was the council’s duty to assess the plans in front of them and not “ones we think might be better.”
Voting members acknowledged the CTLR proposals were not faultless but were the best option for the future expansion of the city.
Strathtay councillor Ian James (Conservative) said: “You’re never ever going to get anything that’s absolutely perfect but I think this is as good as it gets.”
Local authority chiefs say the project will also help allow access to thousands of homes being built at Bertha Park.
It is expected the bridge and connecting roads will take around two and a half years to construct.