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Bam Nuttall/Skanska’s £85m Ordsall Chord viaduct to continue after Court of Appeal ruling

Ordsall Chord Manchester artist impression

A legal challenge seeking to stop construction of an £85m rail link in central Manchester has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The court upheld a ruling to dismiss a legal challenge from former Institution of Civil Engineers president Mark Whitby.

The Ordsall Chord, the largest part of a £200m programme of work being undertaken by a Bam Nuttall/Skanska joint venture, had been given the green light by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin in March 2015.

However, the following July saw Mr Whitby granted a judicial review into the project after he claimed it would “substantially harm” the city’s heritage and destroy an area of “international importance”.

This was dismissed by the High Court in October, paving the way for Bam Nuttall and Skanska to start work on the viaduct. Mr Whitby then won the right to appeal the decision in January.

The former ICE president appealed on three counts: one against the decision of Lang J in the Planning Court, another challenging the Transport and Works Act order issued last March, and one against the judicial review decision in October.

All three were dismissed by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

The project involves the construction of a bridge linking Manchester’s Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations and is a central part of Network Rail’s £600m Northern Hub rail improvement programme.

Bam Nuttall and Skanska will now continue work on the site, with construction expected to complete in December 2017.

Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “The Ordsall Chord is an essential part of the Northern Programme and, once built, will help remove congestion from Manchester Piccadilly.

“This will help create space for hundreds more trains to operate through the city each day. The new viaduct will provide many benefits to not only the population of Greater Manchester but the whole of the North of England.”

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