THE GOVERNMENT has stopped Liverpool City Council from starting work on a dual carriageway that would have prevented building a new £500 million hospital.
The North West Government Office has issued a notice to the council preventing it from granting planning permission for a new £12 million dual carriageway, which would provide a link from the M62 to the city centre.
The route of the dual carriageway goes through a site that had been planned for use by the Royal Liverpool Hospital for its new £500 million development. The road would effectively halve the amount of space for the new hospital, making it unviable.
Hospital chiefs suggested that the road goes a different route but the council said this would mean it would not be ready in time for Liverpool's reign as Capital of Culture in 2008.
The council voted to grant permission last week but was stopped by the Government Office almost immediately after. The hospital development must start by next summer or it will lose central Government funding.
A spokesman for the Government Office North West said: 'There is no timetable for this but it needs to be done as soon as possible.' The road needs to be started almost immediately to be ready for 2008 but a public inquiry could take months.