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19/P/01460 | Construction of a road bridge with associated footways and cycle path connecting Guildford Road / Ash Hill Road Roundabout to a new junction with Foreman Road over the North Downs Railway Line south of the existing Ash level crossing, in addition to associated junction improvements, landscaping mitigation, ecology management measures, flood mitigation measures, and drainage. | Land east of Ash Railway Station & Foreman Road & south of, Guildford Road, Ash, GU12
  • Total Consulted: 338
  • Comments Received: 80
  • Objections: 65
  • Supporting: 14
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Mr David Stonebanks (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sun 03 Jan 2021

I would like to object to this planning application on environmental grounds.

This is going to have a massive impact on the local environment.



The bridge alone is not needed and the mass house building is not wanted.

Mrs Sarah Brown (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 22 Dec 2020

The traffic control in Foreman Road is horrendous currently. Towards the end approaching the station it is single file and on numerous occasions there have been near misses. Permission has been granted for additional housing even though there is not enough parking, residents use the road causing congestion.



We will be losing trees and wildlife. Access from housing developments onto Foreman Road will be affected. Commuters will be pushed off the main roads on to the housing developments which are already full with residents cars. Why don't the council take into consideration residents that pay council tax before they add to congestion. What is wrong with stopping at a level crossing whilst the train passes. STOP ruining our area. Spend the money on education, health and our future generations.



Show us the plans for additional secondary schools, most of the current schools are over subscribed, doctors surgeries and affordable housing that people can really afford, try to remember that not everyone in Guildford borough earns big salaries!

D. Wheeler (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 26 Oct 2020

To view this comment please refer to the Documents list.

Dr Caroline Foster (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sun 25 Oct 2020

I would be most grateful if my previous objection (dated: 24/10/20) can please be redacted and replaced with the following amended objection:



Dear Sir/Madam,



I write to object to Planning Application 19/P/01460 lodged on the 20th August 2019, and request that a review takes place into the handling of the application by Guildford Borough Council and AECOM.



1. I moved into Vyne Walk, the Ellsworth Park development built by Thakeham Homes, in October 2018.

My solicitor's searches did not find any information about the proposed road works in the vicinity of the development.



2. Statement of Community Involvement AECOM Appendix E

Having studied this document I find that I should have received a 'Resident Invite Letter' to Ash Road Bridge Project Public Information Events' in January 2019. I did not receive such a letter.

Apparently 62 people did not receive these letters 'due to a technical error'.



3. Statement of Community Involvement AECOM Appendix F

A 'Follow up Letter' was sent to the residents who did not receive Appendix E in May 2019

I did not receive the 'Follow up Letter' either.

So I was denied information and the opportunity to comment on the proposed road development twice early in 2019.



4. Title of Application - Ash Road Bridge

The then detailed purpose of the application is as follows:

'Construction of a road bridge with associated footways and cycle path connecting Guildford Road / Ash Hill Road Roundabout to a new junction with Foreman Road over the North Downs Railway Line south of the existing Ash level crossing, in addition to associated junction improvements, landscaping mitigation, ecology management measures, flood mitigation measures, and drainage.'

It would be a relatively simple procedure to replace the level crossing with a bridge, in the same location, at much lower overall cost and disruption, but it would appear that the planned construction of the bridge has been combined with other building objectives that will have major impact on the whole area.



Having studied the application in detail this application is not just about replacing a level crossing with a bridge it is about providing road infrastructure

for 'part of the urban area with the adoption of the emerging Local Plan and forms part of the allocation A29 which is identified for additional housing'.

Letter dated 15/01/2019 From Mr S Sherman Majors Planning Officer, Guildford Borough Council.



The proposed new roundabout shows five roads entering/exiting. One such entrance/exit leads directly into land where future residential development is planned.



5. Is there a conflict of interest?

AECOM have carried out the research work on current traffic flows and projected traffic flows in 2034. Since they are the contractors who will benefit from this development it might have been preferable if a survey had been carried out by an independent party.

Some interested parties have suggested that the current level crossing acts as a deterrent to much traffic as drivers do not want to be held up by the crossing. So it could be suggested that this development will exacerbate pollution in a developing residential area by bringing more through traffic into the area.



6. Flood Risk - this is very low now, but the plan goes into what is now a high risk area!

Invoking the plan requires four dry detention basins, flood compensation storage, a culvert and ditches to mitigate the flood risk; but will this be enough given the effects of global warming in the future? There is a concerning potential threat to my house of flooding due to possible miscalculation of mitigation works. The cost of mitigating flood risk becomes a tax burden, and has the potential to impact on house insurance. While now there is no flood risk, I will hold the council responsible for flooding if this plan is invoked.



7. Pollution - both light and noise will increase unacceptably for Vyne Walk.



8. Safety - increasing road traffic will reduce safety for the residents, especially children, of Vyne Walk.



9. Ecology and Environment - currently this is a tranquil setting. Flora and fauna on the east side of Foreman Road will be destroyed, contrary to the government's undertaking that "The UK will continue its aim set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited it"



10. The opportunity to provide parking at Ash Station is a serious omission.



11. The proposed delay in providing a footbridge, including therefore in ensuring suitable provision for people with disabilities, is nothing short of a disgrace for the local people. A safe means for pedestrian and cycle crossing at the station should be available throughout.



12. I do not dispute replacing a level crossing with a bridge will greatly improve safety. I am not against new much needed new housing, but the process that has been followed seems to have been less than open and seems to favour interested parties to the detriment of the local population. I firmly believe that a smaller and less costly development can be devised that would deal with the level crossing problem and cause less harm to the rural environment.



13. I object most strongly to this application and ask Guildford Borough Council to please go back to the drawing board and devise a simple less costly plan that deals with the issue of the level crossing; this is, while also prioritising residents' safety and wellbeing, ecology and the environment. Additionally, I ask that emphasis is given to enhancing rather than detracting from the current tranquil setting in re-designing any new local road infrastructure required for any new housing developments.

Mr Nick White (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sun 25 Oct 2020

I moved into Vyne Walk part of the Ellsworth Park development built by Thakehams in November 2018. My solicitors searches did not find any information about the proposed roadworks that impacted Vyne Walk and the surrounding area.



Statement of community involvement AECOM Appendix E - I should have received a resident invite letter to Ash Road Bridge Project public information events in January 2019 and did not receive such a letter. Apparently 62 people did not receive these letters due to a technical error. Therefore I was declined the opportunity to object.



The proposed new roundabout will have a negative effect on light and noise pollution, increase flood risk and will affect the ecology of the environment in and around Vyne Walk.



I object strongly to this application and ask for the council to create a simple plan that deals with the issue of the level crossing and does not have a detrimental impact on Vyne Walk, its residents and the surrounding area.

Miss Jenny Dowden (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sat 24 Oct 2020

I wish to object to the planning application on a number of counts, including the integrity of how the application has been handled.



The proposed development and required works will cause significant disruption to the local environment, increasing pollution and noise, reducing the safety of the area surrounding Vyne Walk and destroying natural wildlife.



The application suggests this is to alleviate traffic at the level crossing but upon closer investigation, this is instead about putting additional road infrastructure in place that will fundamentally change the semi rural nature of Ash into a busy, built up environment at cost to the local residents.



Traffic rates will increase during construction with heavy vehicles and plant materials transported along roads that were not designed to support them.



This will damage roads and increase risk of harm to pedestrians and pets during construction.



Where will the work site be located and how will the litter and increased human footprint in the area be accommodated?



The development, once completed, will significantly increase traffic flow, light and noise pollution, disturbing the local environment and residents and causing serious safety concerns for children and pets.



The only benefit to the application, the addition of a footbridge over the railway, seems to have been delayed, which is disgraceful given this is a far greater safety concern than anything else.



In addition to the above, there appears to have been a lack of proper consultation undertaken with local residents.



I understand as a local resident, we should have received both an invitation letter to the Ash Road Bridge Project Public Information Events and a follow up letter, but we received neither so we have not been given the opportunity to comment on the proposed development which is our right as a local resident.

Mr A Griffiths & Mr D Griffiths c/o Claud Waterer Commercial Limited (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 05 Sep 2019

To view this comment please refer to the Documents list.

Comment submitted date: Tue 23 Jun 2020

to view this comment please refer to the document screen

Comment submitted date: Thu 22 Oct 2020

To view this comment please refer to the Documents list.

Mr L Baker & Ms E Visan (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 21 Oct 2020

Guildford Borough Council Planning Department
Millmead House, Milllmead
Guildford, GU2 4BB

Dear Guildford Borough Council : Tim Dawes (Planning Development Manager)

RE Notice of objection to planning application ref: 19/P/01460 Ash road bridge project

I object to the planning application on the following grounds that there has been no clear assessment on the current/increase traffic and safety of pedestrians highlighted or justification from official studies that a bridge will relief congestion and improve safety in the area.
Objections:
1. Traffic - currently there is no evidence that the bridge will improve traffic. With the proposal of 1750 new homes to be built in proximity of the new planned bridge; average cars per household in south east is 1.37% = 2398 extra cars contributing to increase traffic congestions. This is without taking into consideration there is a 1.2% increase of additional cars added to UK roads every year. (Yurday, 2020)
2. Pollution - Although we are moving into a world of electric, still as of 2019 97% of vehicles on our roads are still powered by petrol or diesel fuel. With the addition of the extra cars plus the contribution of work force HGVs there will be no doubt more contribution of harmful black carbon emission to the local area. Exposure to air pollution can kill plants and animals but can also lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer; not ideal on current circumstances with COVID-19. (Yurday, 2020)

3. Safety - There is no evidence provided from the planning department or third-parties AECOM, Savills, Pinsent Masons that the proposed bridge will improve safety of residents.

3.1 Factual evidence informs the local community that within the last 10 years only x1 major incident has occurred by Ash train station crossing (the area mentioned as medium/high risk to people's safety). In comparison there has been x7 accidents on the Guildford road from Normandy to Ash(A323) in which there is no proposal to improve the safety of the area. Total accidents in Ash (10-year period) = 17. Number of accidents on Ash crossing (10-year period) = 1 which caters for 5%
3.2 There are schools & businesses either side of the crossing yet there is no zebra crossing to cater for this; therefore the only time it would be safe to cross the road is when the crossing is down, eliminating this could have fatal repercussion as there would be a constant flow of various sized vehicles.
3.3 Woodroffe Close homes are currently approx. 7m away from Foreman road with no pavement. The proposed 5-spur roundabout (100m from Woodroffe close) will result in widening the road to allow for HGVs. Considering the area is rural, there are several households with dependents and household pets; the potential of having larger vehicles even closer to the houses could also result in fatal repercussion.

(CrashMap, 2020)

4. Noise Pollution - The project will take up to 24months without taking into consideration contingencies. Therefore, residents will have an increase of continuous noise from increase of traffic, machinery which will contribute to the construction and civil engineering works. This is not taking into consideration that our homes will be potentially even closer to the main road which will result in long-term continuous traffic noise pollution.

Effects of noise pollution are and not limited to: Hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress (mental health increased during COVID-19), sleep disturbance and colour blindness.
5. Access to Woodroffe Close - The plan proposed has not considered the impact on the resident access to Woodroffe close. The new 5-spur roundabout which will only be approx. 100m from the entrance will cause issues entering and exiting the road.

Entering: direction from Ash station on Foreman road cars will need to take an immediate right turn after the roundabout which will result into sudden braking and late signaling in return causing new accidents to the area (refer to point 3.).

Exiting: vehicles will need to slow down to approach the roundabout which in turn will cause a tail back of traffic, this will have repercussion of safety when exiting right out of Woodroffe close onto foreman road and again causing a risk for new accidents due to obscure view from the left.
These are only x2 of many new risks to safety scenarios.
6. Privacy - As of today there is already a feeling of a lack of privacy to the residents of Woodroffe Close due to the houses only being approx. 7M away from Foreman Road. With the potential of the road widening and a bridge the height of 7.2M this will allow more visibility for on-lookers from the side and looking down onto the private estate from above.

This could lead to and not restricted: Invasion of privacy, unathourised entry, disturbance to resident's private life.
7. Impact to Wildlife - The current land is occupied by various species of wildlife, although Surrey Wildlife Trust has commented with advice on 05/05/2020 it does not conclude the full impact it will have. Understanding that construction will affect feeding and breeding behaviours which in return have a negative impact on long term population levels. Without a healthy eco-system people's health will suffer and become ill quicker (yet again not ideal with a long-term pandemic)
8. Impact to current community - Generations of families have built their lives around Ash Parish due to the rural, quiet, and peaceful lifestyle it brings. People are feeling the need to sell up and move away if the project goes ahead which will disrupt the community and potentially the area could be perceive as declining and over developed.

8.1 Increase of population and the area becoming more developed will result into more crime. The average crime rate in rural areas are far less than in urban areas.
8.2 Foreman Road is currently a quiet, peaceful area in which many residents use to perform such activities which are not limited to: Running, walking, cycling, walking pets. Building the area up will result in people feeling unsafe in taking part in the activities they enjoy the most whilst contributing positively to the environment.

Ref 8.1

(UK, 2020)

9. Parking solutions - The New plan does not include road parking solutions for residents off Foreman Road, train station and the increase of vehicles within the area due to 1750 new homes which could be built.
Widening the road will result in the loss of parking for many residents and visitors to the area. The new infrastructure will not be able to cope with the increase of population which will require parking for additional cars and usage of train station. With the increase of usage to the train station and the lack parking will result into dangerous or illegal parking along Foreman Road which will not be an improvement to the current situation.
10. Design - The bridge is to be built in Ash Parish. Definition of Parish "the smallest unit of local government, constituted only in rural areas" (Fowler, 2012) Definition of rural areas "In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities" (Rural area, 2020). Relating to the two definitions, the proposed design is cheap and does not fit with current environmental view of the area which also impacts listed buildings Ash Manor and Old Manor Cottage.
11. Finances - The project will cost 22.5 million without contingencies. Considering the current GDP of the UK which is currently 9.2% lower than in February suggest that the COVID-19 has impacted everyone lives. Although improvements have been made in August 2020, with new lockdown measures, new prediction suggest the recession is far from over.



(Gross Domestic Product: chained volume measures: Seasonally adjusted m - Office for National Statistics, 2020)

In light of the information I would propose to use the 22.5millin to support local services such as hospitals, GPs, ambulance, police etc. to ensure full financial support is given to tackle COVID-19 and protect lives.

Conclusion
We accept that this is being pushed by certain local councillors due to the decisions to build a number of affordable homes in the area, as part of Guildford borough plans, and the bridge is proposed to support this. However, the council needs to follow a process and not place a flyover within a rural area without factual evidence or solutions to the points above.

Look forward to your response
Yours Sincerely,

Mr. L P Baker
BSc (Hons) Business Management
Miss. E A Visan
MSc (Hons) Civil Engineering

References:
1. Yurday, E., 2020. Number Of Cars In The UK 2020. [online] Nimblefins.co.uk. Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2020].
2. Crashmap.co.uk. 2020. Crashmap. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2020].
3. UK, G., 2020. GOV.UK. [online] Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2020].
4. Fowler, F., 2012. Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Current English. [Place of publication not identified]: Rarebooksclub Com.
5. En.wikipedia.org. 2020. Rural Area. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2020].
6. Ons.gov.uk. 2020. Gross Domestic Product: Chained Volume Measures: Seasonally Adjusted M - Office For National Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2020].

Comment submitted date: Wed 21 Oct 2020

To view this comment please refer to the Documents list.

Miss Eleonora Visan (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 21 Oct 2020

I object to the planning application on the following grounds that there has been no clear assessment on the current/increase traffic and safety of pedestrians highlighted or justification from official studies that a bridge will relief congestion and improve safety in the area.

Objections:

1.Traffic - currently there is no evidence that the bridge will improve traffic. With the proposal of 1750 new homes to be built in proximity of the new planned bridge; average cars per household in south east is 1.37% = 2398 extra cars contributing to increase traffic congestions. This is without taking into consideration there is a 1.2% increase of additional cars added to UK roads every year.



2. Pollution - Although we are moving into a world of electric, still as of 2019 97% of vehicles on our roads are still powered by petrol or diesel fuel. With the addition of the extra cars plus the contribution of work force HGVs there will be no doubt more contribution of harmful black carbon emission to the local area. Exposure to air pollution can kill plants and animals but can also lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer; not ideal on current circumstances with COVID-19.



3.Safety - There is no evidence provided from the planning department or third-parties AECOM, Savills, Pinsent Masons that the proposed bridge will improve safety of residents.



4. Noise Pollution - The project will take up to 24months without taking into consideration contingencies. Therefore, residents will have an increase of continuous noise from increase of traffic, machinery which will contribute to the construction and civil engineering works. This is not taking into consideration that our homes will be potentially even closer to the main road which will result in long-term continuous traffic noise pollution.



5. Access to Woodroffe Close - The plan proposed has not considered the impact on the resident access to Woodroffe close. The new 5-spur roundabout which will only be approx. 100m from the entrance will cause issues entering and exiting the road.



6. Privacy - As of today there is already a feeling of a lack of privacy to the residents of Woodroffe Close due to the houses only being approx. 7M away from Foreman Road. With the potential of the road widening and a bridge the height of 7.2M this will allow more visibility for on-lookers from the side and looking down onto the private estate from above.

This could lead to and not restricted: Invasion of privacy, unauthorised entry, disturbance to resident's private life.



7. Impact to Wildlife - The current land is occupied by various species of wildlife, although Surrey Wildlife Trust has commented with advice on 05/05/2020 it does not conclude the full impact it will have. Understanding that construction will affect feeding and breeding behaviours which in return have a negative impact on long term population levels. Without a healthy eco-system people's health will suffer and become ill quicker (yet again not ideal with a long-term pandemic)



8. Impact to current community - Generations of families have built their lives around Ash Parish due to the rural, quiet, and peaceful lifestyle it brings. People are feeling the need to sell up and move away if the project goes ahead which will disrupt the community and potentially the area could be perceive as declining and over developed.



9. Parking solutions - The New plan does not include road parking solutions for residents off Foreman Road, train station and the increase of vehicles within the area due to 1750 new homes which could be built. Widening the road will result in the loss of parking for many residents and visitors to the area. The new infrastructure will not be able to cope with the increase of population which will require parking for additional cars and usage of train station. With the increase of usage to the train station and the lack parking will result into dangerous or illegal parking along Foreman Road which will not be an improvement to the current situation.



10. Design - The bridge is to be built in Ash Parish. Definition of Parish "the smallest unit of local government, constituted only in rural areas" (Fowler, 2012) Definition of rural areas "In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities" (Rural area, 2020). Relating to the two definitions, the proposed design is cheap and does not fit with current environmental view of the area which also impacts listed buildings Ash Manor and Old Manor Cottage.



11. Finances - The project will cost 22.5 million without contingencies. Considering the current GDP of the UK which is currently 9.2% lower than in February suggest that the COVID-19 has impacted everyone lives. Although improvements have been made in August 2020, with new lockdown measures, new prediction suggest the recession is far from over.

Mr Alan Ingham (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 21 Oct 2020

Guildford Borough CouncilPlanning Department
Millmead House, Milllmead
Guildford, GU2 4BB

Dear Guildford Borough Council: Tim Dawes (Planning Development Manager)

RE Notice of objection to planning application ref: 19/P/01460 Ash road bridge project

I object to the planning application on the following grounds that there has been no clear assessment on the current/increase traffic and safety of pedestrians highlighted or justification from official studies that a bridge will relief congestion and improve safety in the area.
Objections:
1. Traffic - currently there is no evidence that the bridge will improve traffic.
2. Pollution - With the addition of the extra cars plus the contribution of work force HGVs there will be no doubt more contribution of harmful black carbon emission to the local area.
3. Safety - There is no evidence provided from the planning department or third-parties AECOM, Savills, Pinsent Masons that the proposed bridge will improve safety of residents.
4. Impact to Wildlife - The current land is occupied by various species of wildlife, although Surrey Wildlife Trust has commented with advice on 05/05/2020 it does not conclude the full impact it will have.
5. Impact to current community - Generations of families have built their lives around Ash Parish due to the rural, quiet, and peaceful lifestyle it brings. People are feeling the need to sell up and move away if the project goes ahead which will disrupt the community and potentially the area could be perceive as declining and over developed.
6. Parking solutions - The New plan does not include road parking solutions for residents off Foreman Road, train station and the increase of vehicles within the area due to 1750 new homes which could be built.
7. Design - The bridge is to be built in Ash Parish. Definition of Parish "the smallest unit of local government, constituted only in rural areas" (Fowler, 2012) Definition of rural areas "In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities" (Rural area, 2020). Relating to the two definitions, the proposed design is cheap and does not fit with current environmental view of the area which also impacts listed buildings Ash Manor and Old Manor Cottage.
8. Finances - The project will cost 22.5 million without contingencies. In light of the information I would propose to use the 22.5millin to support local services such as hospitals, GPs, ambulance, police etc. to ensure full financial support is given to tackle COVID-19 and protect lives.

Conclusion
We accept that this is being pushed by certain local councilors due to the decisions to build a number of affordable homes in the area, as part of Guildford borough plans, and the bridge is proposed to support this. However, the council needs to follow a process and not place a flyover within a rural area without factual evidence or solutions to the points above.

Look forward to your response
Yours Sincerely,
Mr. A N Ingham & Miss. A S Budd

Text redacted

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