HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE MEMBER - ENVIRONMENT

ITEM 4

PROJECT APPRAISAL

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26 FEBRUARY 2008

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PROJECT:

FAREHAM WESTERN WARDS WESTERN DISTRIBUTOR ROAD STAGE 5 (SCHOONER WAY TO WARSASH ROAD)

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COMMENCEMENT DATE:

APRIL 2008

COMPLETION DATE:

JULY 2008

PLANNED YEAR OF START IN ACCORDANCE WITH CAPITAL PROGRAMME: 2007/08

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1.

FINANCE (Client Department, Director of Property, Business and Regulatory Services [Estates Practice] and County Treasurer)

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Note: The purchase of the land required for the scheme has been completed under earlier approvals, and the cost of this together with land management costs, and preliminary design fees for the new road, is approximately £1,088,000.00. Approval is now sought to spend the remaining funds to complete the distributor road as identified below.

   

Current

 

Capital

   

Estimate

 

Programme

   

(at 2008

 

(at 2008

   

prices)

 

prices)

Capital Expenditure

£'000

 

£'000

         

Land already purchased (see above)

     

Construction

628

 

628

Fees

104

 

104

         
   

732

 

732

Less developers/

     

other contributions

     
         
   

732

 

732

         
         

Financial provision for total scheme

   

Total Cost

       

1.

From Capital Programme

     
         
 

(a) Integrated Transport (2007/08)

   

732

         
         
       

732

2.

From other resources

     
         
 

(a) Developer Contributions

     
         
   

TOTAL

 

732

         

Value of land for this project in HCC ownership £

   
         

Variations from capital programme

     
         

Revenue implications

£'000

 

% variation

       

to Committee's

       

budget

Net current expenditure

4

 

0.004

Capital charges

98

 

0.074

         

TOTAL net expenditure

102

 

0.078

         

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2.

SUMMARY

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2.1

2.2

This report seeks approval to implement the final stage of the Western Distributor Road in the Western Wards of Fareham.

The improvement proposal will bring about the conclusion of this long term commitment by the County Council for the completion of the distributor road. This will enable the closure of Cutter Avenue to motor traffic and thereby enhance the residents' sense of quality of place and contribute to making Hampshire safer and more secure for all.

3.

3.1

3.2

3.3

Recommendations

That the Project Appraisal to enable completion of the final stage of the

Western Distributor Road in the Western Wards of Fareham, at an estimated cost of £732,000, be approved.

That an order be made under Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to prohibit all vehicles, except pedal cycles, from proceeding in that length of Cutter Avenue, Warsash between its junction with Warsash Road and a point 29 metres south thereof.

That the traffic regulation order referred to in 3.2 above be implemented once the distributor road is completed.

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4.

STATEMENT OF NEED/JUSTIFICATION FOR PROJECT

(Client Department)

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4.1

4.2

4.3

4.4

4.5

4.6

4.7

4.8

4.9

4.10

4.11

4.12

4.13

The proposal for the Fareham Western Wards Western Distributor Road was originally developed in the 1970s and was incorporated into the Fareham Borough Local Plan, which confirmed the distributor road in principle, and was adopted in 1992.

The County Council achieved planning permission for the Western Distributor Road in March 1995, later amended in February 2001, between Priory Park (now Upper Brook Drive) and Dibles Road, which included the length under consideration in this report. Works to construct the section of the distributor road between Upper Brook Drive and Warsash Road were completed and opened in April 2000.

The final section of the Western Distributor Road, between Warsash Road and Dibles Road, was divided into two sections as the necessary land to complete this stage had not been fully acquired. In June 2001 the County Council's former Planning and Transportation Committee gave approval for the construction of the southern link of the Western Distributor Road which involved alterations to Dibles Road to create a cul-de-sac at its western end, and realignment of Dibles Road to form a link to Schooner Way. This has involved some traffic using the residential area of Cutter Avenue and Schooner Way to access the eastern part of Dibles Road from Warsash Road, although traffic can also access Dibles Road from Fleet End Road. The alterations to Dibles Road were completed in February 2002.

Since then the County Council has purchased the remaining land required to complete the missing link between the realigned Dibles Road, at its junction with Schooner Way, and Warsash Road. The works to construct the missing link were expected to be commenced as part of the 2004/05 capital programme, however part of the site was found to have been contaminated by the highly invasive Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica). This plant is controlled by legislation made under The Wildlife and Countryside Act which requires extensive work to be undertaken to remove it safely. Alternatively the plant can be removed by undertaking a three year programme of herbicide spraying, and this was the preferred method as discussed in a report to the Executive Member for Environment in April 2005. The Japanese Knotweed has now been removed from the site enabling construction of the link road to proceed.

Completing this final stage of the Distributor Road will enable traffic wishing to access the Schooner Way and Cutter Avenue development, and the eastern section of Dibles Road, to do so via the new link road rather than via Cutter Avenue.

Upon completion of the distributor road it is proposed to close the Cutter Avenue access onto Warsash Road to motor traffic but retain access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Targets and Outcomes

The scheme aims to complete the Fareham Western Wards Western Distributor Road which has been a long term commitment on the part of the County Council.

Construction of the link road will enable Cutter Avenue to be closed to motor traffic, which was the intention identified in the original development brief for this residential development. Vehicular access from the Western Distributor Road (Lockswood Road) will be via Schooner Way, which emerges onto the realigned section of Dibles Road where a mini-roundabout was provided during the last phase of work in 2002. The mini-roundabout is the point where the southern end of the new distributor road ties into Dibles Road.

Dibles Road provides access to a number of residential developments, including the Dibles Caravan Park. Access to Dibles Road is currently achieved using either Cutter Avenue and Schooner Way, or via Fleet End Road, which in turn provides access to the hamlet of Hook. Completion of the distributor road will improve access from this area and eliminate the need for traffic to traverse the residential area of Schooner Way and Cutter Avenue.

Traffic counts undertaken in the area in early December 2007 identified that combined, five day average traffic flows in Lockswood Road are approximately 6,000 vehicles in 24 hours, with approximately 7,500 vehicles using Warsash Road in 24 hours. Similarly a traffic survey undertaken in Cutter Avenue identified combined traffic flows of approximately 2,500 vehicles in a 24-hour period (five day average).

A 12-hour turning count undertaken at the junction of Lockswood Road with Warsash Road identified that approximately 50% of the traffic coming south down Lockswood Road turns left onto Warsash Road. A peak hour registration survey of vehicle movements between Lockswood Road and Cutter Avenue identified that approximately one-third of the traffic makes this manoeuvre.

Construction of the last stage of the Western Distributor Road combined with the closure of Cutter Avenue to motor traffic will remove extraneous through traffic from Cutter Avenue, leaving local access together with local pedestrian and cycle activity only. Traffic flows at the Warsash Road junction with Lockswood Road will change given the addition of a fourth arm at this roundabout. The impact on traffic flows resulting from the completion of this road is difficult to accurately predict, however it is expected that traffic currently using Cutter Avenue will use the new link road to access Schooner Way and Dibles Road. The provision of the link, together with its improved junction, may also attract more traffic from the Fleet End Road route to and from the Hook area.

The junction of Fleet End Road with Warsash Road is a priority controlled junction and has been treated as part of the casualty reduction programme in the past. The number of accidents has reduced as a result of this work but reducing the amount of traffic using the junction will help to maintain this improved safety record.

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5.

ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROPOSAL (Client Department)

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National/County Network and Policies

5.1

5.2

The proposal for the Fareham Western Wards Western Distributor Road was incorporated into the Fareham Borough Local Plan, which confirmed the distributor road in principle, and was adopted in 1992.

The provision of this remaining section of the Western Wards Distributor Road forms part of the five year investment plan within the Solent Transport Sub-Regional Strategy, as identified in the County Council's second Local Transport Plan (LTP) covering the period 2006-2011.

Details of Scheme and Design Standards

5.3

5.4

5.5

The proposal aims to provide the following:

(i) a new roundabout with a central island on Warsash Road, at its junction with Lockswood Road and the proposed link road, to replace the existing mini-roundabout at this location;

(ii) a 6.0 metre wide carriageway southwards from Warsash Road to connect to Dibles Road, at the existing mini-roundabout junction with Schooner Way;

(iii) a 1.8 metre wide footway on the both sides of the new road, to connect into existing footway infrastructure on Warsash Road and Dibles Road;

(iv) a pedestrian refuge to facilitate pedestrian crossing movements along public footpath No. 13 which emerges from Warsash Common by the Schooner Way mini-roundabout and continues northwards alongside the watercourse to Warsash Road;

(v) associated street lighting, traffic signs, road markings and landscaping; and

(vi) kerbing, footways, bollards, traffic signs and road markings in Cutter Avenue at its junction with Warsash Road, to support the closure of Cutter Avenue to motor traffic.

A location plan is attached and a detailed drawing will be displayed at the meeting.

A detailed design stage safety audit has been completed which has not raised any safety issues. A further safety audit will be undertaken on completion of the works.

Environmental Impact

5.6

5.7

5.8

5.9

5.10

5.11

5.12

The works on Warsash Road and Dibles Road are on existing public highway and therefore the environmental impact of the works in these locations is expected to be small.

The main works to construct the new link road are being undertaken on land to the south of Warsash Road which was previously occupied by Warsash Motors, a vehicle maintenance business. The land was predominantly developed with workshop buildings and hard-paved surfaces, with the remainder being overgrown with vegetation. The land was purchased by the County Council for this proposal, and the existing buildings have been subsequently demolished to ground level, leaving large areas of concrete surfaced areas.

The former site of Warsash Motors is a brownfield site lying on the edge of an urban area, however being secluded and partly overgrown it may have provided a habitat for some wildlife. The site also lies within 750 metres of areas of ecological importance, such as the Solent Maritime cSAC, Solent and Southampton Ramsar site and the Lee-on-the-Solent to Itchen Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The watercourse that flows through the site passes into this designated site so pollution prevention procedures will be implemented, particularly when working on or adjacent to the stream.

The watercourse passes through existing culverts at either end of the site and it will be necessary to extend the culvert at the southern end of the site by approximately six metres, in order to accommodate the embankment supporting the new road. Consultation with the Environment Agency has been undertaken and its approval to the proposals and working methods is currently being sought.

Given the potential for the site to be used by wildlife as habitat, extensive ecological surveys have been undertaken in order to establish whether the site is providing a habitat for foxes, badgers, water voles, otters, bats, dormice and reptiles. No evidence of habitation by these species has been confirmed although bats were seen in the area. Further investigations into the use of the culverts by roosting bats have been undertaken but no evidence has been found.

An outlier badger set, probably forming an outlier to the badger sets found on the nearby Warsash Common, was found following a badger survey and, having obtained the necessary consents, has been closed.

Examples of the measures to help mitigate the impact of the proposal have included or will also include:

(i) Protection to trees that can be retained in accordance with British Standards guidance on trees in relation to construction (BS 5837:2005).

(ii) Vegetation clearance will be undertaken outside the bird nesting season.

(iii) Supplementary planting of native species.

(iv) Removal of non-native species such as the Japanese Knotweed and cherry laurel. The Japanese Knotweed has been successfully treated for over three years by the County Council's Arboricultural section. Measures will be put in place to prevent Japanese Knotweed entering the watercourse during the construction phase. Excavation of Japanese Knotweed infested material shall only occur after these measures are in place. This excavated material will be deposited alongside the source of excavation. A root barrier will be installed to help prevent any contamination of surrounding areas. The deposited area will then be monitored by the County Council's Arboriculture section and any regrowth of Japanese Knotweed treated.

(v) The natural bank on the northern section of stream will be reinstated.

(vi) The visually unattractive chain-link fencing to the brownfield site is currently on the stream bank and will be removed. It is proposed to replace this boundary with a post and rail fence.

(vii) The concrete slab to the brownfield site will be removed and seeded. Although this area may be sold for development in the future the area will be seeded with a wildflower mix to provide invertebrate habitat for the interim period.

(viii) Run-off from the new road will feed into the stream via a balancing pond/wetland area that will treat and attenuate flow.

(ix) It is proposed to culvert the section of old stream that passes under the line of the proposed road. To ensure connectivity for mammals it is proposed to install an underpass close to the culvert, but higher up the embankment, so that it can be used by terrestrial mammals such as badgers, as well as aquatic mammals (eg otters and water voles).

Land Requirements

5.13

The land required to implement this scheme was purchased by the County Council in 2005. Approval to purchase this land was provided by the Executive Member for Policy and Resources on 15 September 2004. No further land is required. Upon completion of the road scheme any surplus land from the former Warsash Motors site will be assessed for disposal. Potential resources emerging from the sale of the surplus land will be used to offset the cost of this proposal.

Statutory Procedures

5.14

5.15

Planning permission for the Western Distributor Road was provided in March 1995, amended in February 2001, and as most sections of the road have been implemented, the planning permission is retained.

A traffic regulation order for the prohibition of driving over the part of Cutter Avenue adjacent to Warsash Road was advertised in May 2007 and no objections were received.

Public Consultation

5.16

5.17

5.18

Local residents were invited to attend an exhibition held in the Victory Hall to view the proposals for the final sections of the Western Distributor Road including the alterations to Dibles Road, and the link that is the subject of this report. The exhibition also sought participation of the public to help determine how the southern section of the distributor road between Dibles Road and Schooner Way should tie into the existing road network, particularly as it was anticipated that the whole route could not be delivered at once and an acceptable interim traffic management solution was needed. Options were presented and the preferred option has been implemented - ie the tying-in of the link road to Schooner Way, and traffic using Cutter Avenue to access Warsash Road. The exhibition was undertaken in October 2001 and was attended by approximately 155 people.

This consultation was updated in September 2005 and then subsequently in April 2007 concerning the necessary consultation required for the traffic regulation order to prohibit driving on the part of Cutter Avenue close to Warsash Road. This served to refresh the profile of the overall scheme proposals and no objections were received.

Subject to the approval of this project appraisal a further letter drop to local residents will be undertaken notifying them of the planned construction dates, any temporary traffic management arrangements and key contacts.

Local Member's View

5.19

The local Member, Councillor Evans, supports the proposal.

Impact Assessments

5.20

Assessment of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act has been considered in the development of this scheme. No adverse impact has been identified in terms of race, creed or gender.

Maintenance Implications

5.21

These include for the ongoing maintenance of the extra areas of new road, footways and supplementary items resulting from the scheme proposals. This will be taken into account at the setting of the annual base budget.

Crime and Disorder Act 1998

5.22

The provisions of the Act have no impact on this proposal.

Sustainability

5.23

5.24

The scheme aims to complete the Western Distributor Road and resolve the temporary traffic management arrangements in Cutter Avenue and Schooner Way. The junction of Cutter Avenue with Warsash Road will be closed to motor traffic but remain open for pedestrians and cyclists. This will remove through traffic from the residential area which should help to reduce traffic noise and pollution.

Where possible excavated materials will be re-used to minimise landfill and the consumption of valuable natural resources.

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6.

ROAD IMPROVEMENT - ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

(Client Department)

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6.1

Given the long standing commitment to deliver the overall scheme for the Western Distributor Road no alternatives have been considered for this final stage.

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7. Conclusion

7.1 The improvement proposal will conclude this long term commitment by the County Council to complete the distributor road and enable the closure of Cutter Avenue to motor traffic.

LINK(S) TO CORPORATE STRATEGY

Yes

No

Hampshire safer and more secure for all

_

Maximising well-being

Enhancing our quality of place

_

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1.

Published works.

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

TITLE

LOCATION

Scheme working files

Highway Unit South, Fareham, and

Engineering Consultancy, Winchester

1357Rpt/JR