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 02 September 2021
From Mrs Carol Gilbert

Representation

Please refuse the current proposal as follows: 1.Ecological and Environmental Option 30 represents a catastrophe, not only destroying a wonderful, productive farm and reducing its ability to provide food for all time but the destruction of wildlife described by DEFRA as the best of any farm or estate in the region and so diverse that it was used by the BBC for wildlife sound recording for many years. Planting new trees will not replace the carbon reducing effect of the lost ancient woodland for decades and the beauty and biodiversity will never return. It is totally contrary to LNRSs and NRNs contained in the Government’s new Environment Bill with its new, legally binding, targets to halve the decline in wildlife. Also to NPPF Policy in an AONB, (para 116 of same), and the new Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) consisting of: Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), Local Nature Recovery (LNR) and Landscape Recovery (LR); you cannot sustain a farm with its heart ripped out or recover a destroyed ancient woodland. The Government prides itself on being a world leader in reversing climate change but cannot hope to influence other, poorer countries at COP 26 if its own Policies and targets are ignored. 2. Road Safety Option 12 is by far the best environmentally, using wide verges left for the purpose c25years ago, but objections are that a 50mph speed limit would be needed near the Shab Hill Junction and the road would have to be divided at Nettleton Bottom. Government Policy is to reduce speed on major roads and in this area, 940 feet above sea level where large volumes of traffic from the A436 would filter in with both Options 12 and 30, weather conditions can change from misty to thick fog or rain to blinding snow in a matter of seconds. A 50mph limit could save countless accidents, injuries, possible loss of life and resultant pressure on the emergency services and NHS. There are several places where Motorways and major roads are divided effectively: e.g. M6 between Exits 38/39 and 39/40: A38 north of Bridgewater 3. Public Order/Safety The “repurposing” of a section of the existing A417 could be a recipe for chaos. The general public, especially the disabled, horses and cyclists do not mix. Horses are flight animals and spook at the unfamiliar and crowds, many cyclists have absolutely no regard for horses and little for public safety and access to the area would cause blockages and accidents on local single track lanes. Further, the provision of such a site would encourage every type of anti social behaviour from littering, dogging and drug taking to the possible holding of illegal raves, with no direct access for emergency services. Option 12 uses this land, leaving the farm, woodland and wildlife intact and could save the Air Balloon from demolition, thus providing much needed refreshment and toilet facilities for visitors to the new green bridge