A27 site traffic chaos threat to Emsworth
Revised plans for A27 site with access into Emsworth between the 2 bridges on New Brighton Road.
A new planning application has been submitted for the ACCESS ROAD only: application number 07/57/199/007
The road would access the 5 hectare site between the A27 and the railway. Provisional plans in the 'design statement' submitted with this application include:
· 80 bed hotel, petrol station, shop and café;
· 80 bed care home;
· 44 light industrial/office units
A second phase could include around 30 additional units on the western end of the site opposite Selangor Avenue.
Concerns about this application include:
· Access onto New Brighton Rd
· Narrow roads and low bridges at junction
· Lights causing traffic chaos in Horndean Rd & North St
· Increased risk to pedestrians at junction
· Delays to emergency vehicles at junction
· Issues concerning access road
· Traffic analysis is not broad enough
· Impact on wider area and local road network
· Piecemeal application
· Is the development appropriate for or needed in Emsworth?
· Access crosses strategic foot/cyclepath endangering new Safe Route to Schools
· Adequacy of drainage plans in doubt with possible increased flood risk
· Cuts town centre off from north
· Wider concerns e.g. pollution: smell, noise, etc.
Access to Site
This will be a 4-way traffic light controlled junction with a large enough turning circle for large lorries to access the Interbridges sites, between the railway and A27(T) bridges. Peak hour traffic has been estimated at 150 vehicles per hour into/out of the western Interbridges site.
Can you believe anything so inappropriate for Emsworth has even got this far bearing in mind the narrow roads and low bridges?
· Traffic will back up to the south causing problems in North Street and Victoria Road, possibly as far back as the A259.
· There is poor visibility of the junction from the south due to the low railway bridge.
· It will make access to and from the Railway forecourt and existing industrial units more complicated and therefore hazardous.
· The junction with New Brighton Road and Horndean Road is only a short distance north of the traffic lights. This will cause congestion on both roads for southbound traffic and the junction itself for traffic turning into New Brighton Road at the junction with the Grange, due to south queuing traffic.
· Visibility of the junction from the Horndean Road is obscured due to the bend in the road and the low A27(T) bridge.
· Both bridges are classed as sub standard due to their height (Railway is 3.7m and the A27(T) bridge is 4.3m) and will preclude high vehicles using the junction.
· Due to the vicinity of the railway station there is a lot of pedestrian traffic around this junction. This will either lead to longer traffic delays if there are pedestrian crossings incorporated in it (as at the Havant Tesco junction) or pose an additional hazard to pedestrians if there isn't one.
· There is expected to be an increase in mobility scooters and their use due to developments at 26 New Brighton Road and the general trend in the area due to an aging population, again the junction makes this more dangerous for them as the railway bridge is very narrow.
· There is a concern that Emergency vehicles may get held up by queues under the railway bridge as it is only wide enough for one large vehicle to pass or be queued at once.
The Access Road
The plan is for a 30mph designated straight road 6.9m wide with traffic calming, chicanes at the Washington Road footpath crossover point. It will incorporate a 3m wide cycleway on the south side and have 8 metre high low intensity streetlights. The road will be owned by the Highways Authority up to the Washington Road crossing.
· There is a threat to the screening, planted with trees when the A27 was built, on the south side of the A27. This land was compulsorily purchased for the protection of Emsworth from A27 traffic noise. At least part of it will be lost to the access road and drainage ditches.
· There will be additional light pollution to houses in Washington and Victoria Roads. If phase 2 is built, Selangor Avenue will also be affected.
· Why are Highways adopting what is effectively a private road?
There is a lot of detail about expected traffic profiles at the junction and to/from the access road, but the design statement has not adequately taken the wider picture into account when doing this study.
· This interbridges traffic will increase volumes on the A259 through Emsworth West to East and North from the Emsworth roundabout to the site. This will particularly cause further congestion in North Street Emsworth.
· How will the heavier lorries get to the site? They can't come easily from the A3(T) via Rowlands Castle due to the hump back bridge. They are unlikely to come from the south due to the narrow and low railway bridge. Horndean Road isn't really suitable for large lorries due to the narrowness of the road and footpaths, but it appears to be the only way for these lorries to get to the site, either via Bartons Road or via Denvilles and Southleigh Road.
· The traffic survey can't be accurate due to the piecemeal nature of the unfinished application. We can't tell how inaccurate the analysis is, but even with a baseline of 150 vehicles per peak hour it is at best a significant additional amount of traffic and at worst it will be considerably more and with a longer period of peak hour flows (if there are for example say courier firms on the site)
· No consideration is given in the traffic survey to the one third of the site to the western end which is left blank on the plans with as small note on the road which indicated 'access to possible phase 2'. The 2006 plans identified another 33 light industrial units on this land.
· There are schools within ½ mile of the junction both north and southwest, increasing chaos and danger at peak times.
Generally the traffic analysis isn't wide enough to gauge the impact on the surrounding area.
The site covers a total area of 5.8 hectares and the planning application for access has 12,000 metres of light industrial units, an 80 bed care home, plus a service station and 80 bed hotel albeit with access only from the A27(T).
The main concern here is that this single application is purely for the access road from New Brighton Road and does not give enough detail and lock in the other parts.
The government Inspector recommended that this site be included in the Local Plan as an Employment site after the Public Inquiry in 2004.
The main points are:
· Nature of the industrial units is not fixed. Some could be warehouses or nasty smelly/noisy business units.
· Are any units proposed to be in operation 24/7 (noise, different traffic patterns to the survey)
· Outline plans show some 44 industrial units of varying size, this is not fixed though and could alter traffic volumes and patterns.
· Heights of the industrial units are not detailed. This can be a problem if they have security lights high on the walls (as at Wickes in Havant)
· Architecture of the "Care Home" is not detailed and could be inappropriate.
· If the access plan is agreed, then the internal site use and design could change radically.
· Why is HBC allowing a piecemeal planning application, surely they can see the danger of this partial application.
· Interbridges East development is not being taken into consideration fully (only partially in the traffic analysis).
Is the development appropriate for or needed in Emsworth ?
· Emsworth has virtually full employment and doesn't need additional light industrial units.
· There are many light industrial units empty and further 'brown field' land to build them in Havant if HBC really believes they are needed.
· HBC weren't particularly behind designating this land as industrial use, do they fully support it bearing in mind the more recent developments within Havant itself.
· Employees are likely to come mainly from outside Emsworth, creating even more unnecessary traffic and congestion.
In conclusion this is not a development that anyone but the developer wants.
This is the footpath that links Washington Road to the Recreation ground. It is part of the strategic cycle route linking A259 and Southleigh Road. It is a critical part of the designated "Safe Route to Schools" leading to three schools to the north and south of the footpath.
The current proposal is to have a Toucan crossing with the right-of-way being the footpath. This is felt to be insufficient for such an important pedestrian/cyclist route, which will be heavily used by children in the mornings and afternoons.
· A Toucan crossing is not safe enough and it is felt that a bridge for the traffic over the footpath is the only safe solution here.
· The access road will be to an industrial site, this implies "white van man" and all the associated dangers.
· 30mph is ridiculous for such a narrow road with a children's crossing half way up it.
The land has a clay sub-soil and is generally used as grazing land at the moment. There are detailed drainage plans as part of the application and we believe there are weaknesses in those plans, particularly as the whole development has not been detailed to a sufficient extent yet. There is a SuDS balancing pond and drainage is fundamentally into the Westbrook.
· The western part of the site is prone to flooding and the Selangor Avenue drains and culverts are known to be too small yet there is no provision in the plans so far to rectify this.
· There is only a single valve on the balancing pond to regulate the flow, which we believe is a weakness, particularly over a period of years.
· The overall drainage plan has been designed to 1 in a 100 years flood event. Is this good enough with climate change forecasts and what we have recently seen in Gloucestershire?
· Surface water will drain into the Westbrook which in turn feeds into the millpond. With light industrial use on the site there are pollution fears and an increase in debris anticipated.
· The Westbrook already floods in the vicinity of Bridge Road, we believe it puts those houses at more risk.
· Longer-term maintenance and responsibility of the ditches and pond in the SuDs system once the developer has left needs to be documented.
Cutting Emsworth in Half
· Increased traffic congestion will deter and isolate further Emsworth residents in the northern part of the town.
· Detrimental effect on the central Emsworth local shops as Westbourne residents coming south into Emsworth
Wider Concerns are:
· Smell: This site lies to the west of Emsworth and is very central in terms of the whole community. The prevailing wind is from the west and southwest meaning that any industrial units creating smell (e.g. Shiphams in Chichester, Stevenore Plating that used to be in Havant) will affect a large number of residents. Restrictions must be made on the use of these units.
· Noise: The same principle. Although flanked by a main road and a railway this is still a very central site with a lot of residential property and two schools very close to it. Noise restrictions must be applied on both the nature of the noise and hours it can be in operation.
· Two schools, Glenwood and Emsworth Primary, are very close to the site and there must be adequate screening for both these schools.
· Parking restrictions in North Street and Horndean Road (yellow lines and loss of parking places) will be needed due to increased levels of traffic.
· What about the construction of the site itself.
· How is all the heavy machinery and building equipment going to navigate those bridges?