A27 Arundel Bypass
Arun District Council meeting
On 13th January, there is a Full Council meeting and discussion of the Arundel Bypass is on the agenda. The Parish Council is asking a public question, as are some of our residents. The link to view the meeting online has not yet been published.
Walberton PC Question:
As Chairman of Walberton Parish Council representing Walberton, Binsted and Fontwell, I ask this on behalf of many worried and, since last week, very angry people.
From the documents seen in the last few days, it could not be any clearer that the executive of this Council has no interest whatsoever in holding Highways England to account.
It is also happy to completely disregard the 2 out of 3 of respondents who oppose an offline bypass and more than 9 out of 10 who oppose Grey. Instead, to help H E, it would rather get the backing of this Council for Grey before it has put forward a design or any new evidence.
As far as I know, none of the members of Arun District council has ever supported Grey. The only reason the executive wants Grey now is because HE wants Grey and what happens to our villages is of no concern to them. Or you, so it would seem.
Once again, you have not consulted affected communities before making this recommendation. Yet you still have the nerve to ask them to put their trust and hope for the future in you, Cllr Walsh, to work with HE to secure the best possible mitigation.
Why would ANY resident do that? Why should any of us retain any confidence that you will put our interests ahead of Highways England and, frankly, your own?
My question is directed to the Leader of the Council.
Highways England acknowledges that journey times elsewhere on the A27 will be increased by traffic coming from the Arundel Bypass. Savings for a journey from Shoreham to Chichester will therefore be a mere 3 minutes.
That is their estimate, not mine. During rush hour, for example, Grey would mean up to 78% more traffic using the Fontwell roundabouts. Also, the Arun Local Plan requires the delivery of over 11,000 new homes which will generate many thousands of new trips accessing the A27 from the A29.
In making your recommendation to support Grey, please would you describe the work that Arun District Council has undertaken to show how the signalised roundabout at Fontwell will handle all this extra traffic without simply moving the queues at Crossbush to queues at Fontwell. Do you and this Council support moving standing traffic from one place to another and, if so, why are such small savings in journey time on the A27 corridor worth such huge environmental, social and financial cost?
The Council’s Local Plan 2018 has as a strategic objective to ‘protect and enhance Arun’s outstanding landscape, countryside, coastline, historic, built and archaeological environment, as well as the setting of the South Downs National Park, thereby reinforcing character and identity.’
The Grey route would be directly against the Council’s strategic objective, as it would severely damage landscape, countryside, and historic and built environment, the setting of the South Downs National Park, and the character and identity of four villages.
This debate aims to test the Grey route against the council’s own policies. Will the Council therefore continue to support its own Local Plan by continuing to object to the Grey route?
At a meeting of this Council in October 2019, officers recommended ‘No support for Option 5BV1 (grey) unless the impact upon Walberton can be reduced’.
I can find no evidence of Highways England persuading this Council that it has reduced the numerous and devastating impacts of Grey upon Walberton Parish.
The impacts have been severely underestimated because Highways England has not taken into account Walberton primary school, a new development of 175 homes, new housing in Fontwell and knock-on effects on traffic using narrow village lanes
No members of this Council supported Grey. Highways England not only ignored all of you and most of your electorate but even presumed to misrepresent the Council’s agreed position in its Scheme Assessment Report.
So I trust that you, our elected representatives, will not ignore the majority of public opinion that is AGAINST both an offline route and against Grey.
Why did this Council fail to consult Walberton Parish Council and its residents, before bringing forward this recommendation to encourage Highways England to ignore its members, local residents and affected communities?
Landowner Call from Highways England
We had our call from Highways England on 4th December. The representative was unable to immediately answer most of the questions and so will be arranging written replies for us.
Click here to read the questions that we asked.
Update 10th January
After over a month we are still waiting for replies to our questions. We have been informed that we should be receiving them in the next week.
Update 12th January
We finally have a reponse from Highways England. You can read it by clicking here.
Our key objectives
Walberton Parish Council is working on the following objectives
- Stop Grey as the preferred route decision
- Suppport residents, including dealings with Highways England
- Mitigate Grey's harm to our villages if we are forced to have this route by Highways England
- We are liaising with organisations to see where we might have common ground, such as Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee (ABNC), Arun Countryside Trust (ACT) and CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England).
- We are formally contacting WSCC and ADC to encourage them not to support Grey.
- As the playing field will be adversely affected, we have a virtual meeting arranged with Highways England for December 4th. We have a number of probing questions for them and will publicise our findings.
- They are obliged to do a considerable amount of work before they can apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) and that won't be until 2022.
This will be a very long game.......
We will be asking for your help but in the meantime please stay with us and be patient.
2020 Preferred Route Announcement
Highways England announced the selection of the Grey Route in October 2020.
Their plot of the route can be viewed by clicking here.
WPC is horrified by the proposal. Our initial press release on the date of the announcement can be read here.
- This is the route that Highways England said did not pass within 200 m of any schools.
- This is the route that no Arun councillors supported because "it has the disadvantage of having a greater impact on local communities than the other options" (but to which the leader of the Council pledged immediate support after it was announced).
- This is the route about which WSCC said "the environment impacts of Option 5BV1 (Grey) have been underestimated because the environmental assessment has not taken account of impacts on the Avisford Grange development". Like Highways England, they forgot to mention the impact on schools.
- This is the route about which One Arundel used to say "Even though this route would be completely outside the SDNP, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, and OneArundel does not therefore support the Grey Option”.
- This is the route that got 7% PUBLIC support when we were told we had a choice.
Please support our opposition to this destruction of our villages: #notogreyroute
We have some initial graphics for the route.
1. Basic route map
This shows the proposed route overlaid on an aerial image of our Parish.
2. Traffic changes
This shows Highways England's suggestions for traffic changes as a result of the bypass.
3. Noise impact
This shows the projected noise impact on the Parish from the new route.
For the consultation which Highways England undertook in 2019, we compiled a set of documents.
At the end of the consultation, a further letter was sent to Highways England. We had a number of concerns regarding the consultation process.