Firstly, a huge thank you to all who attended and contributed through observations, questions and comments. All were very useful and identified a host of issues that need consideration by all. Please don’t stop there though, please let us know, through the website, by email, snail mail or any other means that gets the information to us, as soon as you can, to help us put together the Parish Council response and also to advise and influence your fellow villagers (You can leave them here)
Last night illustrated that whilst each of us see many common issues, we also have unique viewpoints and interests that identify issues and concerns not picked-up by others. Airing them publicly tests the level of local interest and support and might influence how others respond to Highways England.
Any other ideas we receive will be aired on this website to give all villagers the opportunity to think about them and add them to their own responses should they so wish. Comments from villagers will serve to advise the Parish Council on the strength of feeling on those issues.
The representative of Highways England was Jeremy Damrel who is the Project Director A303 Technical Partner.
His presentation, together with that of Cllr Dr Andy Shuttleworth, Chairman of Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council have been uploaded to the “Recent Documents” section of the village website
Other Highways England figures mentioned during the evening were:
- Tim Harper – specialises in Byways
- David Bullock – had appeared at Amesbury Area Board and in context of closure of Salisbury Road, Amesbury
Some key points arising from Jeremy Damrel’s presentation were:
- The new Longbarrow roundabout will be 8 metres below present ground level to minimise light intrusion into the WHS. The siting of the viaduct is on the narrowest crossing of the Till flood plain
- The height of the viaduct is determined by the need to allow light underneath for ecological purposes.
- A minimum of 5.4 metres headroom is needed to allow farm vehicles under the viaduct on byway WST04 (see map above) between Foredown House and Foredown Barn
- There will be a minimum of 9 metres clearance at the River Till crossing
- Highways England are legally obliged to deal with all points raised in responses to the public consultation
- All interested parties should be prepared to register for the 3rd round of consultations later in the year.
Some key concerns identified by villagers, regarding the proposed scheme, from Cllr Dr Andy Shuttleworth’s presentation can be summarised a
- Misleading, factually incorrect and exaggerated claims made in the Highways England Consultation booklet
- Height of the viaduct
- Spoil dumping and phosphatic chalk issues
- Likely attenuated noise levels in the village rather than the unattenuated ones seen so far – may particularly impact noise at Foredown House in a beneficial way
- Inappropriate siting of Western Site Compound
- Many byway issues, particularly need for equestrian route from Yarnbury through village to Longbarrow and the WHS. Need to prevent access to western end of old A303 by ‘undesirables’.
- The village would like to use some of the area on the old A303, west of Scotland Lodge Farm, on which to site a small village hall and other legacy features of benefit to the villagers of WS
- Need for equestrian routes west of the village to be opened as part of “advance” works for the scheme to protect Livery at Scotland Lodge, etc
- Access to the fields to the south-east of Parsonage Down should be via acess off the B3083 ratther than the proposed Green Bridge 1. A car park for Parsonage Down should be sited at Parsonage Down
- Concerns over suggestions that HGV’s servicing the chicken farm, south of the A303 on BSJA3, should exit and egress via the new byway created on the route of the old A303 west of Scotland Lodge, through the heart of WS. No traffic should proceed along the route of the old A303 west of the Western edge of Scotland Lodge Farm and the proposed legacy area.
- Need for safe crossings of the A360 into the WHS, ideally a Green Bridge, otherwise Pegasus crossings.
- Re-siting the proposed new Longbarrow roundabouts back eastwards towards the current location, minimising land take from Manor Farm
- Reviewing byways, restricting some Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs), the need to consider byway exchanges based on proven usage, new byways/equine routes from Shrewton and WS towards the WHS
- General positive view of proposals for Rollestone crossroads, but it should be an advance measure; ideally the first of the scheme
- The need to start thinking now about legacy issues (see here )
The Q&A session raised the following issues. Please let us know asap if we have omitted anything vital or got anything wrong and we will amend asap. The height of the viaduct, the siting of the Longbarrow roundabout to the east of the proposed location and the need to ensure the western end of the current A303 did not become attractive to undesirable elements, was of universal concern
- Concern over proposed land take on Manor Farm. Both temporary and permanent.
- Ecological damage caused by this in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SCA)
- Concern that no information about what activity will take place where
- Concern the WS is bearing the brunt of construction and spoil processing an dumping. Load should be spread.
- Need for separate sites to store chalk and topsoil
- No information of siting of worker’s accommodation – feeling that this should be at the eastern end of the scheme, close to Amesbury and all the amenities it has to offer
- Reconsideration of putting spoil in SPTA
- Some spoil should be used for sound-proofing embankments north of WS
- Concern over traffic headlight intrusion on village
- Confusion caused by HE stays on whether tunnel materials would be produced on-site or shipped in. Some told one thing, some another. Either way, raw materials and components will need to be shipped across the site
- Suggestions that the construction sites currently placed immediately west of the new Longbarrow roundabout should, instead, be located immediately to the east of this location and towards the western edge of the WHS, both north and south of the current A303. This would minimise the need for land take along the south-eastern edge of Manor Farm where it bits the proposed route
- Concern over impact of soil dumping on private water supplies
- Concern that the run-off water treatment ponds at the western end of the scheme were totally disproportionate in size and extent to those already in place at the eastern end. Those at the western end should be re-considered and reduced in size
Jeremy Damrel made a number of other points of interest during the course of the Q&A session:
- The next consultation, in the Autumn, would be run by a third party
- Individuals and the Parish Council would need to register with the Planning Inspectorate as an“Interested party” in order to participate
- HE have not yet decided many of the details being asked for by villagers, planning would continue until the Autumn and some of those questions would be answered for the next stage of consultation
- Tunneling will be 24/7. Could not answer if processing spoil and dumping would also be 24/7, but admitted it was a logical assumption
- Red lines (showing the temporary and permanent areas of land-take) will only get smaller (or they are unlikely to get larger)
- Changes upwards would require further consultation – with involved parties (eg land owners)
- Some questions posed by villagers would be answered by the Preliminary Environmental Information Report Summary (PEIR – see here)
- The chairman pointed out that the PEIR summary gave relatively little hard information and villagers should take a look at the full PEIR and its four Appendices which can be found under the Consultation Information section here.
- Villagers should be aware of two further documents scheduled to be published in the Autum; these are the Site Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) and the Code of Construction Practise (CCA)
- The Chairman noted that writing to Highways England for clarification or raising question was yielding results, citing the following example provided by Berwick St James Parish Meeting:
RE: A303 ROAD SCHEME – RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORK SITE/TRAFFIC ROUTE DURING CONSTRUCTION OF WINTERBOURNE STOKE BYPASS
A Berwick St James resident requested more information about the work site (on B3083) and traffic route during construction of the Winterbourne Stoke bypass. Attached is Highways England’s response.