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.

A417 Missing Link

Received 28 July 2021
From Stephen Mendel

Representation

My family own [redacted] which will be decimated by the proposed A417 road scheme. I represent the family and my father Mr John Mendel who owns [redacted]. Whilst we do not support the proposed route due to the impact on the Cotswold countryside and due to the impact on our farm and lives we do recognise that a solution to the "missing link" is desperately needed. We have already been significantly impacted, both financially & mentally by the significant challenges we have had since the scheme was proposed in 2018. We were weeks away from exchanging on the sale of the farm house at [redacted] as my elderly parents could no longer safely live in the house due to their age & ailments. As soon as the proposed road scheme was announced the property sale collapsed and the property has remained empty and unsalable ever since - we have been working with Highways England on Discretionary Purchase applications since then and I have had to fund the purchase of my father's retirement flat until a solution to the farm house sale can be agreed. Our representation re the planning application is for two reasons: (1) Some of our farm land proposed to be acquired is not for the construction of the road itself but has been earmarked as "environmental offset". This land grab further decimates the farm and is not a requirement to enable the road as designed to be delivered. It is also taking land which is already in a Natural England environmental scheme and claiming it as new environmental offset. We have been forced to include this land in the Discretionary Purchase negotiations for the house sale even though it is not required to deliver the route and is not land we wish to sell. (2) Despite requests during the consultation periods and in e-mails to HE and their representatives we were NOT consulted or told about changes to rights of ways over the property. A new BOAT (byway open to all traffic) has been created in agreement with Gloucestershire County Council and the Horse Riding, Walking and Cycling Technical Group, which includes the Ramblers Association and the British Horse Society BUT the decisions were made without any input or discussion with ourselves and we were not told of or shown the new plans until after the decision had been made. We thus had no ability to challenge or offer views on the plans during consultation. These plans for a new BOAT are claimed to link to an existing motorised track - this does not show on property deeds or any current or historic maps and we have not been provided with any proof that there is an existing motorised track. Additionally the proposed new BOAT runs meters from an existing public right of way walking route and no consideration has been given to combine the routes. We contest the safety of the proposed BOAT, we reject its need and challenge the additional land it will take which is also land included on the HEFER register (Historic Environment Farm Environment Record) which was NOT taken into consideration by Highways England. Whilst we have no objection to walkers, ramblers and horse riders we do object to adding a motorised track across historic countryside and the encouragement of 4x4 off-road drivers, quad bikes and cross bikes which further damage the countryside and cause upset to walkers and horse riders. The route then joins main roads and is an added safety concern. We ask for a full review of these 2 points and challenge the need & impact of the new proposed BOAT. Thank you.