§ Mr. Watts
My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Transport announced on 29 October 1996 that they were minded to confirm the orders to authorise construction of the bypass. However, before reaching a final decision, they have afforded interested parties an opportunity to make representations on the effects of induced traffic and alteration of a section of the proposed route to take it away from housing at Harnham, as recommended by the inspector who held the year-long public inquiry. They also instructed the 713W Highways Agency to review three matters: the possibility of realigning the section of the route across the River Avon floodplain, south of Salisbury, to avoid the newly designated east Harnham meadows SSSI; the scope for further mitigating the landscape impact of the bypass in this sensitive area; and the need for any measures in addition to those already proposed to mitigate the potential impact of the bypass on the proposed River Avon special area of conservation. The Highways Agency report on the reviews has just been received and will now be considered by my right hon. Friends.