Inquiry date: 8 July 2008
See notes part 1; part 2; part 3
Original document(PDF): Day_12_Altringham.pdf
Mr Hopkins stated that the WHA were making a Regulation 19 application on the basis of the incomplete HGV figures and incomplete information on the proposed HGV ban, which the public had not been consulted on.
Mr Randall said that the HGV error did not merit a Regulation 19 application.
Mr Hopkins said that apart from those members of the public who are able to attend the public inquiry, those statutory consultees, non-statutory consultees and ordinary members of the public will not have the slightest inkling of what has taken place at this inquiry as regards the information set out in the Environmental Statement. We can only speculate for example, as to what the response of the occupiers of units on the WWTE might be were they to be aware of what the likely effects of the HGV ban might be. The issue of the effect of the HGV ban is not a secondary consideration, but goes to the heart of the application. For example, regards the HGV ban, it is perfectly clear that the effects of a 7 ½ tonne weight limit would be very different from the effects of a 1 ½ tonne weight limit. We have no assessment of the effects of that difference. IN the absence of the County deciding what weight limit they are likely to seek, we would require a model setting out the effects of different weight limits, in terms of traffic flows, noise and air quality assessments and of carbon emissions. Accept that were the Secretary of State to make such a direction that it would involve delay in that publicity requirements would need to be met, however that would not bring these proceedings to a halt. The WHA are in a position to continue presenting evidence, but the effect would be that instead of closing the inquiry at the end of July, it would be necessary to adjourn and recommence the inquiry in September, specifically to address the issues arising from the combined effects of the error in the HGV flows and the effects of the HGV ban.
Prof. Altringham was asked to read his summary proof.
Prof. Altringham's main points were:
-that the scheme would have a severe adverse effect on the local bat populations.
-some local populations may be reduced to unsustainable levels.
-only small numbers of bats use mitigation methods
-further research is needed on underpasses and green bridges
-bat gantries appear to be ineffective
-there is little room for improvements to mitigation features that would improve their effectiveness
In oral evidence, Mr Billington was asked what the effects of construction would be without mitigation. He said it would be disastrous. Your view?
-Agree with Mr Billington
Major negative in year one, without mitigation.
Major adverse in year 15, without mitigation.
Number of bats killed by scheme, low according to Mr Billington. Small number killed in Year One.
-Would imagine that Year One would be the most damaging year. Bat behaviour would be unpredictable
Billington's view that only a small number of individuals would be killed
-Could be significant enough to have effect on population
Population levels already low for Annex II species?
-Numbers in the thousands
Billington said that the Horseshoe population was currently booming, would you agree?
-Data from Bat conservation trust, 1998-2006, Great Horseshoe Bats increased by a maximum of 6.3% - based of summer colonies. Not statistically significant. Term booming not appropriate
Assemblage of bats along route. Possible that assemblage richer than the assemblage at BBSAC. Billington not in a position to comment. Your view?
-Not comparing like with like, SAC primarily a hibernation site.
Apparently a consensus of expert opinion that scheme would not effect BBSAC. Your view?
-Would like to see some evidence in support of that conclusion
Billington agreed that test was of no reasonable scientific doubt. Has this test been met?
-Not at all
Netting surveys. Various survey techniques undertaken. Billington took view that nets only caught small proportion.
-Whichever technique used, only get small insight into what is going on. May be looking at tip of iceberg due to small sample size.
On mitigation, WCC's case that mitigation 'cutting edge'. WCC accept that there is very little information on the effects of mitigation. Billington agreed gantry design was unproven. 'Terrible' from data point of view.
-Would agree wholeheartedly at inadequacy of work
-Difficult to assess due to lack of detail.
-Have seen nothing.
As far as the alternative routes are concerned, Billington said that any FW route would be likely to have a higher impact on bats than the proposed scheme. Your view?
-Difficult to have a view without the data
-No survey work has been done, other than desk surveys
FW route. Were you informed of the work that Billington has carried out?
When you said you believed only desk work, that was based on what?
-Based on Billington's oral evidence.
In that note, is there a reference to the extent of Horseshoe bats to the West of Westbury?
-Aware of SACs to the West
No reasonable scientific doubt. As a scientist, how much survey work would be required to reach level of no reasonable doubt?
-Have to do work, look at results, then decide whether more surveys are needed
It would take a massive effort, spanning before and after construction of scheme?
-Must do work before, during and after. Must meet certain criteria. Things could be done better than they are in general
You know Mr Billington and his reputation?
Any doubt at all that he will use his best efforts to make mitigation effective
SP4. What is meant by 'Another opportunity to promote and practice evidence-based conservation will be lost'?
-Having reviewed subject, lots of studies which are claiming to provide evidence in support of mitigation are flawed in some way. We are not practising evidence based conservation in many cases. We are not conducting science by looking for evidence for conservation measures. Would be nice to see a case where there was good quality monitoring.
Opportunity presented by scheme?
-Would ask whether such an important bat assemblage was appropriate site for an experiment
Do you have any doubt that a scheme thought up by Billington could be done properly
-Billington would require advice on scientific statistics
In terms of this scheme, the scheme could be done properly. Billington would need further help.
-Must ask whether this is the population to carry out an experiment on, especially as the experiment involves very blue sky thinking. Testing inadequately tested evidence
Outside your area of expertise.
-This is a very important assemblage, should not carry out risky experiment
Must look at other factors in deciding scheme.
-In terms of bats, the area of the not appropriate for an experiment
Not carried out any surveys yourself?
Commentary based on available information
Expert witness, not member of WHA
When were you asked to appear before inquiry
Since then, you have reviewed available information. Won't have carried out survey work personally. In terms of the importance of the assemblage, you are using information presented by Billington?
Agree with Billington that year one most significant. Bats creatures of habit.
-Bats less than keen to divert from flight lines, but reports show that bats will divert from flight lines under certain circumstances, in very unpredictable ways
The essence of the exercise is knowing information and seeking to address bat behaviour.
-Ideally do not divert route,
Agree that in terms of flight lines, Billington's input has achieved that?
FP1.2. Been informed of Natural England's views?
-Not in any detail
-Aware that they originally opposed scheme, but then decided mitigation was adequate
Aware of WWT view?
-Understand they recently withdrew objection
FP3.1.4. Destruction of roost sites, severance of flight lines. In your evidence, these are the two single most important factors that you identify?
-Not sure would single those two factors out.
In terms of threat to bats, destruction of roosts and severance of flight lines most important.
-Destruction of woodland, intensification of agriculture. Make broader points.
Three main matters, possibly also fragmentation. No roost sites destroyed by scheme?
FP3.6. No roosts destroyed.
FP3.1.4. Severance of flight lines will not happen provided mitigation works?
Destruction of woodland, intensification of agriculture, not consequences of scheme?
-Width and road could destroy habitat
How many trees lost?
-Very few, more planted
Some more trees at semi-mature height. Will assist bats?
Fragmentation of primary habitat not a consequence mentioned in your evidence?
-An omission from my evidence
-Any road fragmentive
FP3.9, pg30/34. Little room for changes that would make mitigation more effective. Not suggesting any additional measures?
Billington's proof, S5.1. Would welcome mitigation measures?
-Appear to be well thought out, but lacking evidence that they would work
-Concerned that features becoming standard practice without evidence that they work.
Billington's supplementary proof. Have you seen before?
Document referring to during evidence in chief?
-When asked if had seen recent pre-construction plan, yes
Not complete document. Needs to be agreed with Natural England. As a starting point, does it do the sort of things you would expect it to do?
-Only as a starting point.
-Other similar documents never led to useful data collection
Are Natural England aware of your concerns?
-Not the people making decisions
In terms of what this is intending to do, this is a starting point.
-Does not lay out what evidence would be collected
-Difficult to judge what would be delivered
That information can be required by Natural England?
-Could be the basis of a monitoring plan, but given past reading on the subject, they have not delivered information required.
-Difficult to have any real confidence in document
Other than the fact that Billington behind document
-Billington would be rigorous, but may not be provided with resources
FP3.1.7. Collision mortality. What assistance do we get from non-flying mammals in terms of studies on collision mortality?
-Evidence where I give numbers all related to bats
-Mention one paper for more specific aims
-Gain considerably from non-flying mammal studies
In terms of bats in this locality already crossing the A350, do you have any information. Madbrook?
-No numerical data
-No numerical data on any point
FP3.1.10. Construction. Seen Dr Chamber's evidence?
Aware of measures he describes?
SP1.3. Mitigation. Refer to three measures. Then refer to planting trees and shrubs. Not also mitigation measures?
-Associated with three principal measures
Lights can have positive effect of deterring bats?
-Evidence suggestive but equivocal
-Evidence that bats will use them, but no idea of proportion of bats using and what happens to bats not using.
-Difference between use by individuals and effect on popn
-No reliable numbers and proportion on bats using and not using
Hedges can be using for flight line purposes. Intend to plant established hedges on green bridge. Will enhance Green Bridge?
-More effective with them and without them, but not necessarily effective even with
Fence at side of road intended to break flight line?
-Evidence suggests ineffective.
Better to have them in combination with other measures or not?
-Data suggests they have marginal effect, but do not cause harm
If evidence lacking, and they do not cause harm, beneficial to have them?
-Must consider visual impact
-Concerning bats, no evidence that they shouldn't be there
Gantries. Disadvantage or beneficial?
-Unlikely to be detrimental
High trees next to the road. Beneficial?
-Difficult to answer. May provide habitat, but increase risk of collision if bats drawn into tress close to road.
If trees emphasised flight pass, they would be beneficial?
-If that bats only used them to do that
-Can put them their for a purpose, but can't ensure bats use them for that purpose.
FP3.6. Precaution not requirement?
-Not sure of legal situation
-Sensible as a precaution
Not suggested in evidence that it is a requirement?
-Cannot answer without looking at law.
Mrs Tindale's proof. In terms of the loss of land, approximately 50 hectares affected by scheme. Permanent loss of 38 hectares. What comment would you make in the context of FP3.1.4
-Any wild animal requires habitat, if land taken away then popn will shrink
-Magnitude of popn loss determined by quantity of loss
Mr Langton referred to para 3.1.8 of Prof Altringham's proof asked about the use of bank voles as evidence for effects on bats. Prof Altringham said that he was making the point that roads can have extreme effects on species, and tend to cause lesser effects before they lead to genetic differences. Prof Altringham said that he was not suggesting that the scheme would cause fragmented populations of bats to have genetic difference, but that lesser effects could occur.
Mr Langton noted that rare Bechstine's are present at Clanger Wood, despite Clanger Wood being next to existing A350. Prof Altringham said that the current population would be at a level that the habitat could sustain, and that additional pressures could effect the population.
Original document(PDF): Day_12_Goss.pdf
Evidence in Chief
Mr Goss was asked to read from para 5.1 until the end of his proof.
Mr Goss was asked to read para 1.3 of his supplementary proof.
Mr Goss was asked to read paras 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6 and the two final paragraphs on pg3 of his supplementary proof.
Not a member of WHA?
Therefore have been instructed to carry out exercise, information result of exercise?
When first instructed by WHA?
Was that in a written form?
April 2008, monitoring report. This is a report, not a proof of evidence?
What documents were made available to you in relation to the scheme?
-Background information showing route of proposed scheme, the instructions were that locations were the locations which the alliance wanted to see results from.
Were you shown the ES?
-Haven't seen all of it though
Seen planning application?
-Stress that monitoring exercise was simply that.
Since then have you seen any of the evidence that was before the inquiry?
-Seen noise plan
Have you seen accompanying text?
-Only seen part of text
Nowhere in report or supplementary, is there a mention of Westbury town?
FP5.5. A judgement?
Do not analyse effect of scheme itself?
-Analysed in reference to the map
-Concluded that due to background, bound to be an increase
'Bound to be an increase' – judgement, not as a result of looking at the road and its effects?
-Looking at noise map that was supplied and given backgrounds that were obtained, and considering normal road noise that you would get from road of this nature, concluded that there would be an increase at certain sites, which was bound to be replicated on the rest of the scheme.
Asked to produce supplementary proof?
FP1.1. Purpose of report. Assist in proper consideration. What mitigation measures have you taken into account?
-The general layout, which is planned to put as much distance between the road and WSB town, and road noise barriers
Where are the noise barriers?
-Imagine they would be alongside the climbing lane
Barriers in form of fencing or something else?
-Could be mounds or burns
Not sought to carry out exercise to measures precise impact, in the same way that Humpherson and Smyth did?
-No, that was not my brief
-In planning terms, would regard as being somewhere near the WHO's lower limit, certainly below 55DB limit.
Can't say what figures would be after bypass put in place?
Rebuttal proof. 2000 WHO guidelines. Still working to?
-New guidelines expected to be in force at some stage
-Existing guidelines might not be sufficient
'Preliminary findings' of working group?
-Have been published, but still preliminary
WHO produces preliminary information for discussion and potential alteration, and those preliminary findings could change?
Once they have been adopted they may take the form of new guidelines. No timetable?
-Once preliminary findings put out, something follows after a couple of years or so.
Transport noise. Drive-by noise levels. Noise level of vehicle driving past given point. Not necessarily noise level people will here?
-Double distance, halve the noise a rule of thumb
Series of factors would influence how far away one would have to be to hear noise?
Take into account ground attenuation?
In regards to the scheme, cannot have regard just to maximum drive-by levels?
-Was attempting to give the inquiry an indication of noise
-Experience of monitoring, shows that 80-82DB measurable within 4 metres of carriageway
Refers to motorway?
-Also experienced with bypass
60mph speed limit?
-Yes, fairly rarely
Aware of nature of road surface?
-No, but would imagine that would provide some form of attenuation.
Don't aggregate noise levels when calculating?
-Lower noises subsumed into higher noise
Two equivalent noise levels, 75 engine, 75 tires
Just about noticeable?
3-4 metres from carriageway?
-Nearest dare approach carriageway
RP3.7. 1973 noise regulators. For the purpose of working out ability to claim for noise insulation.
Based on three elements?
-Several restrictions on grants for noise insulation
-Had to be a one DB noise increase at curb level.
-Had to result from alteration from carriageway
-Few grants paid out
Mr Yellowley requested that Mr Goss provide more accurate maps showing the location of his monitoring.
Mr Langton asked whether Mr Goss was implying that the noise-reduction benefits of modern road surfaces might diminish with time. Mr Goss said that initially surfaces expected to reduce tyre noise by 2.5DB at best. He said that anecdotal evidence suggests that within 2-3 years this performance might diminish so that there was only a reduction in the region of 1DB.
Original document(PDF): Day_12_James.pdf
Examination in Chief
Mr James was asked to read his summary proof on planning. His main points were:
-the Eastern bypass does little to achieve aims of economic regeneration and the relief of traffic congestion
-a Far Western route would provide better access to the trading estate and allows integration with the railway.
-the environmental consequences of a Far Western route are less than of the Eastern route
-SLA confers presumption in favour of landscape presumption
-the Eastern bypass fails to relieve the congestion at Yarnbrook
-the scheme is not in accordance with PPG 13, 'to reduce the need to travel, especially by car'.
-the people of Westbury have consistently expressed support for a Western route.
Mr James was asked to read his summary proof on landscape and townscape. His main points were:
-the assessment of the effect of the bypass on the landscape should be 'large adverse'
-the FW route would have a less deleterious effect on the landscape than an E route.
-the townscape benefits have been overstated.
-current traffic has little impact on Westbury's historic town centre.
-it is questionable whether the bypass would achieve more than a 'slight beneficial' impact on the town centre, especially when it is considered that benefits could be achieved without the bypass
WHA R7.1, rebuttal to Kansarai. Main points:
-Para6.19/20. Chronology through the September 1998 adoption of the E bypass as preferred route. Documentation fails to explain reason for adoption of E route. Another route review in July 1999 – Parkman 1999 and 2001 report. Seems that area of contradiction in the way the route preference and option appraisal was handled at the time.
-Para9.5. Unequal treatment of FW route.
-Para9.12.1. Two schemes have not been treated like for like due to treatment of Station Rd HGV ban. E route requires Station Rd ban, FW route does not to the same extent. Modelling needs to be done on a like for like basis for both routes. FW route, without ban, removes 400 HGVs, compared to E route, with ban, removes 600 HGVs. FW route would carry 1800 HGVs, 16% of traffic HGVs, compared to 6-7% for E route. FW route removes additional HGVs from other local communities. FW route removes vehicles from Westbury and from the A361. E route would increase HGVs on A361.
R7.2, rebuttal to Simkins. Main points:
-3.10-3.12. Self containment argument. Unsubstantiated hypothesis that E route would provide for self containment of WW towns. The effect of a scheme that increases mobility could lead to new jobs being taken by people from elsewhere. Too much reliance can be placed on self-containment.
-3.38. Alternative scheme does require the same level of detail as the proposed scheme.
-4.17-4.21. Simkins' proof suggested EiP panel recommendation suggests A350 corridor given enhanced status. London-Exeter corridor remains most important in SW, not in fact implied that A350 corridor has an enhanced status.
-4.41-4.42. Potential of demand management as an element of scheme modelling.
-4.61. Simkins' proof dismissive of SLA in rejecting or approving scheme on basis of PPS7. PPS7 isn't suggested underlying reason for SLAs should be forgotten. Alternative approach to policy making is the way forward rather than local designations.
R7.3, rebuttal to landscape proofs. Main points:
-10.28. Statement that large adverse impact on SLA – but characteristics of existing landscape preserved. Contradictory and untenable.
-5.28-5.40. Management strategy objectives proposed in landscape character assessment. Overall strategy to resist development that would interrupt views, conserve views to White Horse, conserve hedgerows.
-5.47-5.49. Suggestion in Betts' landscape proof that boundary should have been at foot of Salisbury plain. Several reasons for disagreeing with this statement.
Supplementary proof. Main points.
-Boundary of SLA as defined close to earlier boundary.
-1950 guidance stated that until designations confirmed, local authorities should consult with National Parks Authority in areas of interest.
-Area of escarpment of Salisbury Plain potentially merited designation as National Park. However large presence of MoD land could be reasonably assumed to be a reason why Salisbury Plain not designated as National Park.
-1945 and 1947 reports: areas have to be a certain size. Relatively narrow strip would appear to be a plausible reason for not designating.
-Shows that in terms of landscape quality seen to merit national designation in 1950. Boundary of current SLAs close to suggested boundaries of National Park.
-WWC landscape rebuttal. Comment that I have made a selective quote from WCC's landscape architect. Full quote provided as an appendix.
-Rawlings said that Westbury had a high level of assemblage of listed buildings. If Westbury is considered high, there is no higher designation for places such as Devizes or Marlborough or Wells, which clearly have a higher value townscape.
-Questionable if reduction in traffic sufficient to merit 'moderate beneficial' impact
-Rebuttal by UPRAWW. Confirm that did exhaustively survey area and stand by statements made in evidence.
Given present policy as applies to this area, are we actually allowed to construct roads?
No bar on road construction?
-No embargo in national policy
Comes down to justification for road scheme?
-Refer to underlying reasons plus balance of harm
No different to any development proposal that is seeking planning permission?
-Development that is being promoted by public bodies using public money, not a private development
In terms of the essence of the planning balance, no difference from other scheme?
-National policy part of process that generates development
-National transport policy is the driver of the development, not the driver for a business wanting to build a factory
What we need to do now is balance the reason for building the road with the effects that might arise from it
-Underlying reasons have to be looked at in the context of planning policy.
The essence of what we're doing is to do balance the planning merits and demerits?
As part of that we look at the situation today and the policy which applies today?
-Policy is an evolutionary process
-Do not disregard the origins of scheme or of policy development
The reality is that if we are looking at the matter today, the historical development of the scheme is of historical interest only if they are not relevant to the scheme as it stands.
-Agreed, but is a big 'if'
You are not a member of the WHA?
-last August, not formally commissioned until the early part of this year. First meeting in Jan 2008.
Were instructions given in a written form?
-Was not given a written brief, brief evolved through discussions
Between August 2007 and Jan 2008, how many times did you visit the project area?
Since Jan 2008, how long have you spent in Westbury?
-Seven or eight days
Your evidence is based on those seven or eight days?
-Also based on evidence that has been put before me
1997 planning conference. Strong groundswell of public opinion on the need for a bypass. Agree with need for bypass?
-marginal case for bypass
-understand why people living near road desire bypass, but a lot more complicated than that.
You recognise the need for a bypass?
-Did not say that
Do you recognise the need for a bypass for Westbury?
-One of several options
Recognise problem that requires a remedy?
That problem a traffic related problem?
-In terms of traffic in Westbury town
-Not in terms of economic regeneration, not a traffic problem
-Access to WWTE, is a traffic related problem
Seen planning application and ES, and all the evidence?
-Yes, all the evidence from my areas
Seen structure plan?
-Yes, not from cover to cover
RPG10 and RSS?
LTP1 and 2?
-Not made extensive use of them
One of the matters Mr Kansarai cross examined about, was that the County headed straight towards build more roads and ignore everything else. Mr Kansarai referred to overall strategy, of which Westbury Bypass one part. Aware of that?
-Common to all LTPs.
Why is there no recognition anywhere in your evidence of that?
-Not sure where that question is coming from.
-Is not something arose in my lines of arguments
-WCC felt they had a sustainable transport strategy, does not mean that any given road essential to that strategy.
-Soft measures relied on construction of road, not a balanced and integrated strategy.
Essential part of your case that other measures should be tried?
-Road building last resort
Those measures can be identified from LTP1 list of factors. No reference in evidence.
-No suggestion that there is a sequential development
-Road either has to be essential for measures, or because measures do not deliver.
Are you aware of whether those sort of matters have been considered as part of the development plan process?
-Do not have detailed knowledge of process
Are you aware if those measures considered as a part of development plan process?
-Would assume that they would have been.
Are you aware?
-Not party to back ground discussions
Answer is no?
Heysham-M6 Link Road?
-Were people who took the view that W bypass preferred solution
No such promotion at this inquiry?
-There is a promotion of alternative strategy
-No road solution acceptable or essential, should be much greater effort to promote non-road alternatives
WHA position unclear and ever-changing.
-Do not agree
Have you seen all the WHA evidence?
-Seen statement of case
-WHA not promoting particular alternative, arguing that WCC has not established that E route preferable to FW route. Whole range of possible options not investigated.
Stressed relief as a result of FW route. At no stage did you take us to relief for Westbury itself as a result of E bypass.
-Compared level of HGV reduction on Warminster Rd
Did not acknowledge that E route provides far greater relief for Westbury.
-Do not agree with that
ES. Appendix 6. Fig3.4. 100% more relief provided by E route.
-For cars overall, not HGVs
-My comparison related to HGVs, accept that at certain locations E route achieves more than FW route, and vice versa
-Overall, FW route achieves objectives of relief of traffic in Westbury, E route does so to a greater extent.
-Additionally, FW route brings benefits elsewhere
Are you supportive of a FW route?
-Not supporting a particular scheme
Irrespective of what you have said, you still would not find FW route as something you would support.
-have not said would not support FW route
-need to go through adequate assessment process before deciding on route
-would argue that FW route preferable to E route.
In 1998 five options considered. Are you saying today that we need to consider all options in same detail?
-Accept arguments against Near W route
-Unsure about Outer Western route
When you gave your evidence, by reference to NATA, went through options then select down to arrive at preferred solution. Would then assess preferred solution against next best, and low cost alternative?
-Lots of stages to process
Process through 1997-1998 to select preferred route.
-Selected without sufficient appraisal of other options
Preferred route selected, acknowledge that now we do not have to assess other options at same level of detail.
-Part of my case that original process defective
Are you saying today that we need to consider all options at same level of detail?
-We should consider the FW options at equivalent level of detail
Comes a time to select preferred option.
-Quite a way down the line
Preferred option selected 1998. Then looked at again.
-In relation to FW route
Confirmed following LTP1 in 2003
-Confirmation of route preference in 2001.
LTP1. Diagram Pg95. At the time this document was published, shows that selection process still ongoing through consultation?
-WCC confirmed support for E route in 2001
-WWDC never confirmed support for E route.
We can agree that 1998 preferred route selected, exercise gone through again, preferred route selection confirmed?
-Preferred route confirmed in 2001
In your evidence have you identified the extent of the difference between the 1998 and 2001 assessments?
-As far as the discussion of the Parkman reports concerned
Landscape proof rebuttal. You are a landscape architect?
Is it your view that if a scheme gives rise to change then it is unacceptable?
-Purpose of evaluation process to assess whether change is adverse or beneficial
-Generally, a road could be acceptable or unacceptable depending on the outcome of the appraisal
In your evidence, para1.8, you make it clear you will not be carrying out exercise in fine detail.
-Have not carried out separate appraisal from scratch
-Used information provided in ES
You yourself have not carried out the appraisal?
-Have not carried out the detailed
-My areas are not with the fine detail, but with the conclusions that are drawn from it.
Rebuttal 8.27. Disagree with moderate adverse assessment. Discordant features distant. Is that the town of Westbury?
Town included in undisturbed rural landscape?
What are discordant features?
-WWTE an example of a discordant feature
Undisturbed rural landscape is the escarpment slope and the rural landscape?
Are you raising a criticism of photo montages?
-Do not give adequate representation of effect of road
Is criticism relating to the static views?
-Static and 90 degrees to the road
Criticisms not in original evidence?
-Had not seen montages at that point.
Concerned only with Wellhead Valley?
-Railway southwards, especially Bratton Rd southwards
Reason for concern the area is an SLA?
-Reason for concern is the landscape that caused area to be recognised as an SLA
SLA itself dealt with by policy C3 in the District Plan. Policy T1A (pg96) deals with Westbury Bypass. C3 does not demand the preservation of views?
-Not specifically, but refers to conserving quality of landscape
Are you aware of the attitude of the District Council towards this scheme?
-Understand that they neither support or oppose
Have you seen their letter of representation?
-Have looked at their letter in response to planning application.
Are you a qualified planner?
Can you tell me of any authority that exists for a council member to withdraw a policy from a district plan?
-Preston Borough Council proposed deletion from local plan
No such process undertaken here?
-Has not been a process of a formal statement of position from WWDC.
FW route. Para 1.6. Taken issue with certain matters, have not put a line on a plan of the FW route?
-Have indicated where FW route would be expected
Rebuttal to overview evidence. R7.1. Para 9.5. Do we have traffic figures for areas mentioned such as Berkley?
-Have not seen figures for Berkley
No proposal to upgrade A36 in area which would be effected by FW route?
Aware of stated intention to improve road N of Westbury?
Somerset County Council preferred FW route. Reason for that?
-Read their letter at the time, suggesting benefits would be brought to Somerset.
-E route takes more traffic off A350 in Westbury, but not significant difference. FW route also meets objectives and deals with A361.
A significant proportion of traffic, in the region of 60%, in Westbury is through traffic.
-Depends on definition of significant
-Accept that there would be reduction of through traffic
If the A350 is presently carrying at least 50% through traffic, then the removal of that traffic will not reduce through traffic on adjacent roads?
Bypass is part of a package of measures, which have the potential to deal with other roads off the A350?
-Those measures do not depend on the bypass for their implementation
Depend on bypass for funding. If measures implemented, what would that do the 50% traffic that is through traffic?
-May reassign traffic elsewhere
-Other 50% could be reduced
-Soft measures work on the parts of the traffic that is susceptible to modal shift
-Doesn't matter which sector of traffic is reduced
That would mean local traffic reduced, not through traffic.
-Some through traffic could be reassigned
Essence of what you are suggesting is that soft measures penalise locals and free up the road to through traffic?
-Penalise is completely the wrong word
Soft measures, without bypass, effect local residents and the few people who may use public transport.
-And traffic reassigned
If not reassigned, road space freed up for through traffic?
-Adjust road space to suit traffic levels.
Additional measures needed on A350 as a deterrent?
-Traffic calming measures could influence reassignment
Deterrent influences drivers against using the current route?
Aware that this is a lorry route?
-One lorry route
In order for it to operate as a deterrent must be to delay the traffic?
Soft measures deter locals from using their vehicles, reassigning traffic to other location.
-Not matter of deterring residents from using vehicles.
-Also involves encouragement to use alternatives.
-Make walking, cycling and public transport more convenient in relation to the car
Where is the reassignment route?
-Trunk route made more use of
A36 into Bath?
-Also A34 from Southampton
-In principle the strategic aim is to get as much traffic onto strategic trunk network
Section 3, pg6, Route Comparison. 3.1. Important not to underestimate landscape impact.
Three main grounds for suggesting FW route area of a lesser landscape status. WWTE has a greater impact on FW route than cement works have on E route.
-Cement works visible from escarpment in another landscape character area.
How tall is the chimney of the cement works?
Test a degree of landscape fit?
-Question of presence or absence perhaps more significant than question of fit.
-Mitigation often over-emphasised when fundamental change of character as a result of road
Need to look at scheme in detail to judge landscape fit?
-Fair to make preliminary assessment based on nature of landscape.
-Mitigatory tree planting in FW route can achieve greater degree of concordance than in E route, where there are few trees.
Hard to judge without having a detailed route?
-In principle judgement can be made
Is it your understanding that no part of the FW route would run through SLA?
-Could easily avoid SLA
-Only 500m of SLA affected by road.
Section 2, Landscape impact of E bypass. SLA does not enjoy same status as AONB?
-Issues of importance not black and white
Is any point of the E bypass in an AONB?
At least part of this area considered as part of AONB?
-At least part considered for national designation, either as an AONB or National Park.
Rejected as a candidate?
-Candidacy an indication of the landscape calibre being sufficient to merit designation as AONB.
The Secretary of State will note that it is not an AONB and did not achieve AONB when was a candidate?
-Other areas merit national designation, but have been rejected due to proximity of roads.
Para 2.1.2. The SLA of equivalent character to other chalk AONBs?
Ms Betts made it clear that MoD land in AONBs not at all unusual.
-Having such a large proportion of MoD land would be unusual
-90% MoD land, exempt from control
Fig3. Zone of visual influence. Accept that as accurate?
Para 2.1.4. Important recreational area. Any information of level of usage of footpaths?
-Have observed that footpaths very well used
Extent of Wessex Ridgeway affected by scheme?
-Section running along Wellhead Valley
Betts, Appendix B and Appendix C, Landscape and Townscape definitions. Large adverse negative effects, Pg5 of evidence. Essential difference between your and Ms Betts' evidence, is that she has sought to explain her assessments. We can dismiss sixth bullet point?
Proposals are damaging to landscape in that they are at considerable variance from pattern and scale of landscape. Which part of the scheme does that apply to?
-Madbrook Roundabout and Bratton Rd
-Wellhead Valley and from Bratton Rd.
How does the scheme damage landscape?
-Road on embankment in a valley
-Awkward earthworks at Bratton Rd junction
-Linear feature in an area that doesn't have linearity
Is the escarpment not a strong linear feature?
-Strong bendy feature
Cutting through major ridge. Newtown?
Treatments at Newtown.
-Will still see cuttings going into green bridge.
Visually intrusive, destruct views of the area.
-Views from the escarpment and towards the escarpment
Not taken into account the FW route in terms of views from and towards the escarpment?
-Aware that there are views of the escarpment from the FW route area, but road would not be as damaging there due to greater distance
-Have not made specific comment about this issue, agree with moderate adverse impact assessment.
What characteristic features will the route destroy the view of?
-Characteristics of the area as a whole destroyed by presence of the road
Substantially damaging to high quality and high vulnerability landscape. What landscape referred to?
-Take issue with the overall assessment being downgraded to moderate adverse.
Only Wellhead Valley?
-Would also include land down to Bratton Rd.
Para2.2.5. Reference to ES para 8.5.3. Ms Betts took us to ES Vol 1, Sec 8. Seen paragraph 8.1.06, Residual impact and conclusions. Moderate adverse impact. Seen rebuttal evidence and been through ES?
She's correct isn't she?
-Isn't an automatic assumption that mitigation will reduce impact level
Agree that ES set out in the way she described?
-Been through process to reach her conclusion
Proof 2.3.2. Disagree with summary. When arriving at your view, do you take into account the mitigation measures?
-Mitigation part of assessment
-The presence or absence of road is the real issue, cannot be mitigated to the extent that there is a change in impact level
Do you take into account mitigation measures?
-Mitigation part and parcel of scheme.
-Don't agree with mitigation measures proposed in relation to tree planting.
Take into account mitigation measures, unless you decide mitigation in itself are discordant elements?
-Degree of impact caused by mitigation small compared to presence or absence of the road itself.
You ignore any contribution from mitigation?
-Give far less weight to presence or absence of scheme
Give less weight to mitigation?
View from White Horse panorama, bypass would be seen in conjunction with town itself, the cement works, railways and existing roads?
-Basic impact is that can no longer look across unbroken fields in front of town
-No major road between escarpment and Westbury
Can see trading estate on other side of town?
-Road would be a fragmentary feature before town.
Capable of answering questions on noise?
-Only in reference to tranquillity
Apart from White Horse and Wessex Ridgeway, there is no reference to specific location?
-Footpaths within Wellhead Valley
S4.2. Townscape. Do you agree with first quotation?
-Not sure about term 'claustrophobic nature'
-Does not remove density of traffic from environment
-Does not create pedestrian friendly environment.
Greatest benefit quotation?
-Historic core experiences little experience from main road
-Little noise heard from Church yard.
Moving around town easier?
-Most of the routes through town do not rely on following A350
-Level of traffic not a significant impairment of local movement.
FP4.3. Traffic volumes quite low. Figures in the region of 13,000-15,000 quite low?
-In relation to 25-30,000, which is a more typical figure for a town
HGV levels at 6%?
-Level of HGV traffic not oppressive when compared to many other towns
Appendix 2. Photos of town. Morning peak 8.54am-9.36am?
-Beginning to move out of peak hour
Overlap in timing?