A417 Missing Link

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 01 September 2021
From National Star Foundation

Representation

National Star Foundation is registered charity, supporting people with disabilities, based at Ullenwood, immediately adjacent to the proposed A417 Missing Link. One of the charity’s largest operations is National Star College which provides education, personal development, therapies and care for young adults with a range of profound, severe and complex disabilities and associated medical and behavioural conditions, both on a day and residential basis. The main site at Ullenwood is at the heart of the charity’s activities and is a specialist hub for its wide range of services and activities. National Star (NS) employs over 1100 staff, providing specialist services for young people and adults with disabilities on a local, regional and national basis and is considered a centre of excellence. NS is broadly supportive of the Highways England (HE) A417 Missing Link scheme. However, there are a number of issues to be adequately addressed by HE. It is vital that NS is assured of the absolute continuity of its services to students and service users throughout the period of the construction phase of the works, without detriment or disturbance, or impact on its ability to operate and to be accessed. Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) The EqIA has not adequately taken the work of NS and its service users (with protected characteristics) into account. The EqIA process did not engage with NS or its service users in the drafting of the report in order to appropriately assess the disproportionate and differential effect and impact of the scheme on those who rely on NS’s services. Traffic NS have been informed that traffic levels will increase on the Leckhampton Hill, A436 and A417 as a result of the scheme during and post construction. Due to the nature of service user’s disabilities, travel time to and from the Ullenwood site is critical. Delays can have significant impact on wellbeing and ability to access critical services. This relates to day students from Gloucestershire and surrounding counties and residential students accessing Ullenwood from accommodation in Cheltenham and Gloucester. NS requires unimpeded access for staff, students, service users, suppliers and emergency vehicles. Failure to adequately address the critical issue of ease of access could lead to placements being unsustainable, students and service users being deprived access to their provision and staffing levels not being met. Noise and Air Quality The project team have not confirmed that there would be no adverse impact on NS due to scheme noise and air quality. NS is home to disabled students with sensitive issues. There are concerns that the prevailing south westerly wind could funnel noise and pollution down the valley and impact on users and activities. Disabled Access to Scheme Enhancements NS have previously discussed the potential for creating a route from NS to Crickley Hill but are awaiting comments from HE. Land take and land Interest HE have failed to provide reasoning for the proposed drainage temporary easement or assessment of how the water will be dealt with at the outfall in the middle of the charity’s site.