What impact surveys have been undertaken to support the Victoria Arch widening scheme? Specifically, what surveys have been undertaken to support the proposed temporary and permanent planning applications for the goods yard access road?
Impact surveys conducted to support the initial temporary and permanent planning applications
The surveys for the temporary and permanent accesses via York Road and Bradfield Close have been carried out to inform the survey reports below.
The survey reports that will support the planning applications are:
- Ecological Assessment
- Air Quality Assessment
- Arboricultural Impact Assessment
- Risk Assessment (for contaminated land)
- Noise Assessment
- Transport Assessment and Road Safety Audit.
UPDATE: Two planning applications have been submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to propose temporary and permanent access road arrangements for the Downside Goods Yard in Woking Town Centre. A temporary access road via York Road and Bradfield Close and a permanent access road via the existing access in Guildford Road are proposed. Read the planning applications webpage for a summary of the applications and the latest information.
Clean air policy and monitoring
The air quality in Woking borough is generally good. Woking Borough Council’s environmental health team carries out regular reviews to check current levels of air pollutants and review predicted future levels against the government's health-based standards.
Air quality is monitored by taking readings on how much nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is in the air. To do this, nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes are based at 37 locations throughout the borough and are changed on a monthly basis.
Every year, a report on whether the air quality within the Woking area meets the national air quality standards. This is submitted to the Department for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for their approval.
The monitoring diffusion tubes located closest to the aggregates yard are based in York Road (two tubes) and Victoria Arch (one tube).
Tree removal and planting mitigation
Woking Borough Council gained permission from a private landowner to remove two mature trees. This action did not require planning permission for the trees to be felled. The project team removed the trees outside of the bird nesting season.
A planting schedule is being maintained as part of the project to ensure that trees will be replaced where lost and further trees provided where possible.
Questions submitted by members of the public
A significant number of questions have been received from members of the public during our engagement work, which remains ongoing. The summary question and answer outlined above aims to provide responses to the main points and topics raised by local residents.
- Please can you explain why you propose bringing hundreds of HGVs into a residential area given the clear environmental and safety implications.
- What is the impact on pollution levels on the relocation of the access road?
- With the constant highly visible layers of dust on properties and cars, and existing concerns over its correlation to health concerns, how can the leaders of Woking Borough Council justify bringing pollution even closer to homes, many with vulnerable residents?
- Could the project team detail the ecological investigations that have been undertaken for the permanent and temporary access roads, including investigations within the properties to be lost?
- Could the project team advise on the mitigation that has been provided for the foraging bat and slow worm populations known to be present within the area and any protected and priority species found within the surveys and the biodiversity gain that will be provided within the area?
- Before agreeing to demolish housing to exacerbate the nuisance has the authority conducted a thorough, scientifically based report on the current impact of the yard? And have they made provision for possible future disruptions and environmental prosecutions in a densely populated area, recently constructed with their approval?
- How will environmental performance be monitored and will you ensure that there are improvements to vehicles used in terms of noise and reduction in aggregate spread by vehicles?
- What changes have Woking Borough Council made to their Clean Air Policy to bring it up to date with the recent changes in legislation?
- Can you explain why the area adjacent to the existing entrance to Day's Aggregates Yard is not included in the air quality control as part of the Clean Air Policy? This junction is a very busy pedestrianised area of Guildford Road. It is possibly the most densely pedestrianised area, where people wait to cross at the traffic lights end route to the station and into town. It happens to be an area of road where pedestrians wait while HGVs drive in and out of the Days Yard entrance. Your original brochure (page 2) states that moving the Days Yard would 'reduce air pollution'. Yet, interestingly, this area of Guildford Road isn't monitored as part of the Clean Air Policy. I'm sure Defra would find this a crucial road area for monitoring air pollution. I also find it interesting that Woking Borough Council wants to move the 'air pollution' problem from Guildford Road to a residential area.
- Why encourage more traffic by widening Victoria Arch, only then to push the bottle neck up to the junction with York Road?
- Why does the council support an environmental nuisance (noise and dust pollution) to remain in the town centre?
- Why have the two mature trees between the Day's Aggregate access road and Bradfield Close been cut down before the council asked for planning permission to build the temporary access road.