Cabinet members need to be clear about fundamental issues that require it’s common sense consideration. This text is not highly technical; it actually does not need to be! The issues we have on Hayling Island clearly demonstrate the provisions of the Local Plan will not be sustainable for us.
Councillors Pike and Wilson et al say they have listened to the concerns of residents through the HIIAG and have addressed many points; the reality, however, is they have just bulldozed their transport assessment through the process and totally ignored any credible/technical criticism in support of the Local Plan. Shockingly, they clearly conspired to ignore and brush aside the views of the council’s constitutional instrument called the “Scrutiny Board” which I personally find unacceptable and I urge you to examine that shameful episode in considerable detail. Dismissing the views of the body convened specifically to ensure the council is behaving in a sound way sets a very damaging precedent and requires immediate cabinet investigation.
The Transport Assessment (TA) is clearly a major sticking point and has been for years; it abjectly fails to consider the following inexhaustive list
1. Fundamental capacity of the A3023 Havant Road with current traffic levels – close to 100% capacity. The Local Plan will push this single arterial road above 100% capacity and cause gridlock for all residents, visitors and emergency services.
2. Making all junctions prettier is clearly an attempt to hoodwink the casual observer; Notwithstanding fundamental and serious capacity problems, spending over £10M on “prettification” of several junctions is repugnant and a complete waste of taxpayer’s cash with no journey time benefits!
3. The TA has totally ignored the following sources of additional traffic in the TA!
o A 25% increase in summer traffic (Source HBC)
o Around 1000+ windfall dwellings that the council fails to account for in its infrastructure planning
o The Local Plan’s grande seafront regeneration sites designed to create a significant increase in tourism traffic
For a TA to knowingly ignore a significant proportion of the islands future traffic loading in the interests of expediency requires your close scrutiny and correction.
You may not be aware, because the Local Plan conveniently fails to mention it, but there are several points on the network that are just 1-2 metres above sea level. The south end of the bridge, the Ferry Road to name a few. The Environment Agency recently increased its estimate for sea level rises to +1.4 metres, that’s over 4.6 feet! Winter storm surge raises sea levels further by up to 0.7 metres. Global warming means the 1.4 metre estimate will inevitably increase; we will have more frequent and more intense storms exacerbating the problem further. For the avoidance of doubt the A3023 at the bridge is the ONLY access to the island. It will be severed frequently if not permanently.
The NPPF stipulates that developments require protection from flooding for its lifetime (NPPF defines this as 100 years!) How can it be admissible/lawful to build at least 2000 additional homes on the island (including windfall) when you don’t even have the “guiding light” of a detailed flood protection strategy until 2022?
With increased development comes more concrete and therefore more runoff water in the drains. With around 10,000 new dwellings in the borough alone comes an additional 25,000 toilets users. These two facts together will generate significant nutrient waste level increases in the waters around Hayling Island courtesy of Southern Water.
To summarise, the TA, two years later, has still got fundamental and serious flaws and opposition from councillors and the public still remains solid. The inspector is going to see the debacle that is the TA and will surely dig deeper. It is in the cabinet and therefore in the council’s interest to get the TA reworked in such a way that properly informs the Local Plan as the NPPF requires. It is inconceivable that the Local Plan can proceed without the fundamental guiding lights of a competent TA and a flood protection strategy that protects our transport infrastructure and other key sites.
My suggestion is that the TA must be reworked to include all relevant data irrespective of how inconvenient said data might be; and that the most important infrastructural aspects of the flood protection strategy are prioritised in such a way that properly informs the Local Plan this year (2020) and not waiting until 2022. The Local plan must not proceed without the above.
Thanks for your attention