Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

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.

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

Received 25 February 2020
From Bristol City Council


Bristol City Council has received notification from North Somerset Council (the Applicant) of the acceptance of this application for a Development Consent Order. Bristol City Council is a Host Authority and as such is registering as an ‘Interested Party’ for the MetroWest Phase 1 Examination. In summary, Bristol City Council as Local Planning Authority supports the principle of the proposals put forward for the re-opening of the Portishead Branch Line and the associated improvements as set out within our Policy BCS10 ‘Transport and Access Improvements’. We would however like the opportunity to comment on the following main issues given the potential impacts upon the built and natural environment of the City of Bristol and its people. Discussions are ongoing between the Applicant and Bristol City Council as Host Authority regarding the proposals and proposed mitigation. The points below largely accord with our representations made during the Section 42 Consultation, which are included within the Applicant’s Consultation Report: • Transport, including the proposed highway improvements on Winterstoke Road and management of Construction Traffic. • Ecology and biodiversity, in particular the loss of trees within Bristol and the potential impact on designated sites including: the Avon Gorge Woodlands SAC; the Severn Estuary SPA; and Severn Estuary Ramsar site. • Flood risk, in particular the requirement for flood plain compensation and for a positive drainage system at the Clanage Road compound given its location within Flood Zone 3, and the risk of damage to watercourses, including culverts. • Land contamination, in relation to the baseline data/information, risk to controlled waters and groundwater, the potential remediation of ballast and the operational impacts upon the environment. • Landscape and visual impact; in relation to the impact upon the setting of designated heritage and natural environment assets. • Construction impacts including the measures proposed within the Framework Construction Environmental Management Plan and the Construction Traffic Management Plan. • Schedule 2 Part 3 of the Draft DCO concerning arrangements for the discharge of Requirements. A full assessment of proposals will be included within the Council’s Local Impact Report and the Council is proactively working with the Applicant to agree a Statement of Common Ground which will confirm the position regarding these matters. Bristol City Council will continue to work with the Applicant and other stakeholders to ensure the proposals meets its objectives to support economic growth and improve the accessibility to the rail network whilst mitigating potential negative effects.