Details of a Traffic Management Scheme pursuant to Condition 19 of appeal ref: APP/B3600/A/11/2166561 dated 7 August 2015.
An update sheet was tabled at the meeting. This is attached at Annex A.
Caroline Smith, Planning Development Manager
Samantha Murphy, Principal Planning Officer
Nancy El-Shatoury, Principal Solicitor
As this item had been deferred from 2 August 2017 after public speaking had already taken place, no further public speaking was permitted on this item in accordance with Standing Order 67.10 of the Surrey County Council Constitution.
The Chairman agreed for the Local Member to speak on this item.
Hazel Watson, Local Member, made the following points:
1. The Traffic Management Plan (TMP) was unsafe, unworkable and not suitable for Coldharbour Lane.
2. The timings for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements were unrealistic.
3. Cyclists would be put at danger due to the blind bends and steep gradients of the lane.
4. The width of vehicles, 2.8m, could damage the banks of the lane.
5. The route involving the M25 would be subject to unpredictable delays and HGVs could end up arriving at the site outside of permitted hours.
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. Officers introduced the report and update sheet and explained that clarifications had been made to address the four points of concern raised by Members at the meeting held on 2 August 2017. These being:
a) to take into consideration any information that arose from Mole Valley District Council’s committee meeting that was held on the evening of 2 August (Mole Valley District Council objected to this planning application at their meeting of 2 August and this is covered at paragraph 47 onwards),
b) detail of the substance of the terms of agreement for the use of Ryka's Car Park,
c) the system of communications which can be relied upon to ensure all parties affected by the terms of the CTMP remain in contact,
d) confirmation of the type of surfacing material to be used at the site.
2. Members raised concern that traffic impact on Dorking Town Centre needed to be addressed and that in its current iteration, the TMP did not do this adequately, and that the timings in the TMP were not realistic to anyone who knew the area well.
3. Members noted that whilst clarification had been sought on the system of communications, there was a lack of detail provided other than that it would be a satellite telephone system. This did not provide an assurance that it was a robust and adequate system whereby residents could make contact if required.
4. Members raised concern about the effectiveness of a traffic controller and banksman who would be required to conduct stop/go control across three junctions.
5. A Member stated he was disappointed that 3D imaging had not been provided. The 2D image showed the base width of the lane but did not take into account any arches or overhanging trees. Officers explained that this was not one of the clarifications sought by the Committee as part of the deferral, however the Planning Inspector was satisfied that, as part of the public inquiry, the drilling rig was able to pass down Coldharbour Lane with sufficient clearance.
6. Officers explained that the reason for the TMP was that where the lane narrowed, it was not possible for oncoming vehicles to pass a HGV. The TMP has arranged for vehicles to be held at a wider part of the lane to manage this safely. The drilling rig will travel down the lane during its three day closure.
7. Members commented that whilst clarifications had been made to address the points requested by the Committee, the response made by Mole Valley District Council’s Development Control Committee (as detailed in the update sheet) raises new issues.
8. Some members of the Committee recognised that the need for oil and gas was of national importance and the approval of this application would be essential for the country’s economy.
9. Officers explained that although 20 trees along Coldharbour Lane were protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO), this was not a reason to not approve development. The applicant would liaise with the Highway Authority to assess trees for any trimming that would be necessary as a protective measure.
10. It was stated that Europa could have down more to liaise with the residents that live down Coldharbour Lane.
11. The Planning Development Manager stated that if the item was to be deferred, it would need to be deferred in relation to Condition 19 and the Committee would need to specify what part of the condition they were not satisfied had been met.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am and resumed at 11:42am.
12. A Motion was put forward by Mr Stephen Cooksey, seconded by Mrs Penny Rivers that the TMP should be refused as the application and TMP does not satisfy Condition 19.
13. Officers advised the Committee to vote with caution, as the applicant had already provided clarifications and some of the discussions around the M25 congestion and drivers’ tachograph readings are outside of the applicants’ control and the applicant could appeal the decision on the grounds of non-determination.
14. The Motion to refuse was put to a vote, in which two voted for and eight voted against; therefore the motion was lost.
15. Mr Edward Hawkins put forward a Motion, seconded by Mrs Bernie Muir that:
The application be deferred in order to receive further information to address the following:
i. For the area of the TMP to be widened to include the dedicated ‘holding area’
ii. Confirmation that Cobham motorway services are prepared to create a dedicated holding area and are prepared to extend waiting beyond the current time limit.
iii. How the banksmen will deal with any HGVs arriving late to the site
16. The Motion to defer was put to a vote. There were seven votes for; therefore the Motion was carried and the application deferred.
That application MO/2017/0911- LAND OFF BURY HILL WOOD, COLDHARBOUR LANE, HOLMWOOD, SURREY, RH5 6HN be DEFERRED for the following reasons:
i. Members considered there was insufficient information on the extent of the area to be covered by the Traffic Management Plan. This should include the route from the Cobham Service Station and the M25 junction and should include wherever the holding area is to be.
ii. Members asked for confirmation that Cobham Service Station, which has been quoted as being a holding area, is prepared to create a dedicated holding area for vehicles being held on site and that they would be prepared to extend beyond their normal time limit.
iii. Members would like to see/hear how the applicant will deal with the issue of banksmen on late-running HGVs arriving at the site.
In addition, Members requested an informative that they would like to see engagement between the applicant and all the relevant parties listed to understand all the issues.