Thursday, 17 November 2016

You might have thought

At Aggregate Industries' forthcoming Public Exhibition many local people will be interested in the HGV movements - the tens of thousands of HGV movements proposed over the next 10 years.

People will want to know about the impact on road safety from 44-tonne HGVs turning right onto the fast-moving B3174 Exeter Road, burdened with as-dug sand and gravel, crawling up the hill to the Daisymount junction. People will want to know about the impact on pedestrian safety from fast-moving empty HGVs coming downhill and turning left onto this quiet lane hitherto used by walkers. People will want to know about how these HGVs will increase the risks to other road users from overtaking. People will want to know about the road widening plans for Birdcage Lane and how allowance will be made for footpath users and school children.

It will be interesting to see how AI miraculously engineers two-way HGV traffic, pedestrian provision and drainage ditches into this narrow lane, without losing even more European Protected Species habitat.

If AI is indeed ready to publicly exhibit its plans and get some feedback from local people, the company must surely have had some sort of pre-application nod for its road junction designs from DCC, particularly for something so controversial, particularly as the other site access points have fallen by the wayside.

You might have thought so, but no.

Since the earlier plans that made no allowance for pedestrians, since the subsequent advice to AI from DCC about Public Rights of Ways, no further plans have been received by the Council; no further advice has been sought.

Perhaps AI is supremely confident. But then it was last time, and look what happened to those plans.

After that debacle in March, AI said:
Following our positive discussions with residents and a review of development rights, we will be resubmitting our planning proposal for an extension to processing at Blackhill. This is to address concerns raised about the transport of materials. We will be proposing an alternative site entrance. We feel this will provide a safer way for vehicles to enter and exit the site and it shows that we are acting on feedback from the community.
Well, AI's been forced to give up on Blackhill at last. But on the matter of access to the B3174 - the safer way for vehicles to enter and exit the site - this is what we were told last time:
The southern option, onto the B3174, was dismissed early in the process on highway safety grounds 5.44