A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling

Received 11 October 2018
From Historic England


Historic England's interest in this scheme is focused upon designated heritage assets either directly or indirectly impacted by the proposal. We have a particular focus on the Grade II Registered Park and Garden (RPG) at Hazlegrove House, which will be directly impacted, and on the Scheduled Monuments No. 1020936 Romano-British Settlement Immediately South West of Camel Hill Farm and No. 1021260 Medieval settlement remains 100m and 250m north of Downhead Manor Farm. Whilst not directly impacted by the scheme proposal these two monuments lie in proximity to the Red Line Boundary and we are concerned to ensure that their significance is not harmed through impacts upon their settings.

Hazlegrove RPG - whilst we accept that the scheme will have an unavoidable direct impact upon this asset, we are concerned to ensure that the adverse impact is minimised and that robust mitigation is secured to satisfactorily offset the harm the scheme would cause. We are currently in discussion with the applicant on the exact extent of landscape mitigation proposals: including whether the height of screening bunds could be increased to screen the full height of a HGV when viewed from key viewpoints within the RPG, rather than offering partial screening as set out in the application, which is particularly relevant to ensuring appropriate mitigation of winter views towards the new road; the nature and extent of tree planting as part of landscape mitigation; and the need for the applicant to commit to a Conservation Management Plan for the unaffected parts of the RPG and this to be secured through the DCO.

Camel Hill Romano-British Settlement - the proposed road will use the same highway boundary adjacent to the monument as the present road. Given the more substantial presence of the new road compared to the existing we are concerned to understand the impact this will have upon setting. We have asked the applicant to provide further information on the comparative levels of the existing and proposed road to understand how the scheme would be perceived from the monument. We are concerned to understand the impact of the scheme on any archaeology associated with the monument but located beyond its boundary. We understand that archaeological fieldwork is currently in progress near the monument and wish to see its results considered as part of the Environmental Statement, and appropriate mitigation proposed where necessary.

Downhead Medieval Settlement - we are concerned to understand the visual impact of the scheme (if any) upon this monument and how that impacts upon its setting. We understand that a habitat mitigation area is to be located in proximity to the monument and wish to understand how this feature might impact upon the monument and its setting.

General observations - we are presently unable to agree a Statement of Common Ground with the applicant until the completion of their archaeological assessment and evaluation work; the completion of the Environmental Statement and particularly the cultural heritage chapter; and clarity on the extent to which the impact upon the RPG might be minimised and optimal, appropriate mitigation secured.