M54 to M6 Link Road

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.

M54 to M6 Link Road

Received 14 May 2020
From Featherstone and Shareshill

Representation

As the ward councillor for Featherstone and Sharehill, I would like to ensure that the local communities I represent in and around the proposed road improvement scheme receive the appropriate and necessary mitigation to minimise the impact of the development on them. Featherstone, Hilton and Shareshill will be directly impacted - both positively and negatively - by the M54/M6 Link Road proposal. I broadly support the principle of the M54/M6 Link Road application as it will bring much needed improvements to the A460 running through our villages, and these improvements will bring benefits to the wellbeing and amenity of the vast majority of local residents when the road is operational. There are however several points of contention that I wish to seek assurances that the section of the proposed link road that goes nearest to the residents of Dark Lane, would not be better placed further east and in doing so improve their living conditions and amenity of the residents of Dark Lane. I have concerns about the noise pollution and air quality levels affecting the nearest properties in proximity which are only a short distance from the link road. I also have concerns about the excess effect of traffic along the A460 from junction 11 of the M6 to the toll road towards Cannock, have the impacts of the cumulative development traffic of the West Midlands Interchange, the McCarthy Glen retail park at Cannock and the additional traffic coming off the link road been taken into account ? as the original link road proposal continued directly into the toll road thus avoiding what could now be potential congestion on the A460 north, leading to rat running along the adjoining country lanes. I would also like to be assured that my residents would still have access to the public footpaths already in existence in the area, we would need a green bridge over the link road in order to continue the pleasure of walking local designated footpaths. I have concerns about HGV vehicles accessing the M6 Diesel site on the A460, although I would not want to stop the legitimate fuel business on A460 near Shareshill I would want any HGV's being routed back to Junction 11 to join the motorways and beyond and not be allowed to continue along the becalmed A460 south through our villages Mitigation and agreements; Removal of the Mile Wall Featherstone, where this old mile wall is moved I would like it rebuilt using the existing stone at the other end of the mile wall near the Avenue in Featherstone. Restoration and stabillization of the Portobello Tower [Grade 2 Listing]. Removal of the unstable corrugated sheet fencing along Dark Lane and restored with new link road perimeter fencing. More woodland is needed along the perimeter of the link road between Hilton Lane rising up to Junction 11 on the western side in order to mitigate the noise and visual effect from the link road up on the village of Shareshill. It is my contention that Hilton Green environmental project should be considered for additional mitigation measures, given the scheme's environmental impacts. my understanding is that Highways England indicate that biodiversity impact can be offset within the red line of the scheme , by avoiding a significant net loss of biodiversity. however, the National Planning Policy Framework [NPPF] indicates that the schemes should strive to go further than this, seeking to provide "net gains" for biodiversity NPPF para 170 [d]. I'm not aware of any reason why the scheme can only feasibly avoid a net loss of biodiversity, rather than seeking to achieve net gains, and projects in the nearby area but outside of the red line could play an important role in achieving this. I understand that the scheme needs to achieve a satisfactory balance against all policy requirements to be granted consent, but that does not mean that opportunities to improve the scheme's credentials should not be ignored, particularly as the NPPF advocates achieving net gains against all strands of sustainable development. Ultimately, I want to ensure that the final scheme's design is the best form of development possible, and am strongly opposed to the notion that the scheme's demonstrable highways benefits offer any reason to unnecessarily dilute its compliance with other local and national policies on amenity or biodiversity/the natural environment. I would like the opportunity to highlight potential impacts on the local neighboring amenity to guarantee that appropriate mitigation is in place within and around the proposed scheme for the benefit of the local community, and on that basis I request to register as an Interested Party. .