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 27 August 2021
From Knight Frank on behalf of Mrs Alison Besterman


A417 Missing Link Development Consent Order Representations Submitted by Knight Frank LLP on behalf of Mrs Alison Besterman [redacted] 1. Introduction [redacted] is a mixed arable and livestock farm (sheep) extending to 1,033.5 acres. The estate is in a ring fence with the existing A417 forming the southerly and westerly boundary of the holding. The estate includes over 100 acres of woodland. The topography has supported a shooting enterprise. The property has a main farmhouse, nine other residential properties and substantial agricultural buildings for arable and livestock production. All of the buildings and houses are centred on the hamlet of Stockwell. The property is owned and farmed by Mrs Alison Besterman. The proposed Scheme bisects the property from north to south leaving approximately one third of the farm, the houses and all of the buildings to the west (between the new road and the existing A417) with two thirds of the land severed to the east of the proposed road. The impact on the overall estate is devastating. Mrs Besterman is opposed to the proposed scheme on the basis that it is considered that the Route is not the best and most cost effective solution to the “missing link”. 2. The Route The preferred route (Option 30) ("the Route") is damaging to both [redacted], the AONB and wider environment. It is considered that Option12, following the current A417 line is much less damaging than the proposed Route. 3. Effect on the AONB It is considered that the project is damaging to the AONB protected landscape and that there are less damaging designs and routes which would better protect the overall landscape. 4. Weather effects It is considered that the Route is vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, such as fog and snow, and that the proposal may well be a danger to users in such conditions. 5. Stopping up of the Cowley Wood Lane The stopping up of Cowley Wood lane and its replacement with a public right of way is unnecessary and detrimental to [redacted] for two reasons; a. the removal of vehicular rights on the highway will increase the traffic on the Stockwell Lane from Cowley, damaging the hamlet of Stockwell and b. public highway [redacted] is used by the farm as access north/south. The closure of the highway to traffic will be detrimental to the farming business. 6. Parking on the former A417 The proposal to site a car park at the junction of the Stockwell Lane and the existing A417 is unnecessary as part of the scheme. It risks being appropriated for anti-social use. It is considered that all parking provided as part of the scheme should be located within the improve facilities at Barrow Wake. 7. Matters affecting [redacted] a. Removal of trees on the Stockwell Lane It is considered that the removal of 6 trees forming part of the avenue to the East of Stockwell is excessive and reduces the amenity of the Stockwell hamlet. The re-routed Stockwell lane should be designed to retain as many avenue trees as possible. b. Excessive land take The Scheme includes significant areas of agricultural land, for which there appears no reason. In particular: i) A strip of land south of Hardings Barn (ref 6/5f), ii) land between footpath 22 and the road cutting (ref 5/6d), iii) Land south west of the Stockwell Bridge (ref 5/3ae and 6/5d), iv) Land to the North West of the Stockwell Bridge (5/3ae), v) Land South East of Shab Hill Junction (ref 4/2p), vi) Land south of the Shah Hill lane (ref3/15a) The land take through [redacted] should be kept to a minimum. c. Effect on the Farming The position of the road takes a significant amount of land out of agricultural use close to the buildings. This land is important to the sheep enterprise, particularly at lambing. The separation of the buildings from the main area of the holding will have a detrimental effect on the ability to run the agricultural enterprises. d. Use of the farmyard as an access route for Highways England A permanent right of access is sought by Highways England through the farmyard ostensibly to access the Stockwell overbridge and balancing pond. This route is unacceptable as it limits the ability to use the yards and buildings. There are alternatives for Highways England from either Nettleton Bottom or the Cowley Lane junction which should be used in preference to imposing rights in the farmyard. e. Public Rights of way There are a number of changes to the rights of way network on [redacted]. There is concern over the following; i) the reclassification of footpath 22 to a restricted byway ii) the reclassification of footpath 21 to a bridleway iii) the diversion of restricted byway 26, when this route could follow the new Stockwell lane iv) The new link between the Shab Hill lane and the former A417 near the Barrow Wake underpass, which could be achieved on highway land without land acquisition. 8. Compensation arrangements Without prejudice to the objections above the parties are seeking to agree a position relating to a number of points above as well as a land acquisition and compensation agreement. 9. Reservations Mrs Besterman reserves the position to submit further information, issues and objections as part of the DCO process. Tim Broomhead MRICS FAAV Partner Knight Frank LLP UNIT 7 The Old Estate Yard, East Hendred Wantage OX12 8BE 27 August 2021