Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 5

October 6th, 2011 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

This took place on Thursday 29th September.

Stephen Roscoe, planning inspector, opened by clarifying what additional evidence he had received from non-statutory objectors.

Mark Lowe, QC for the anti-road side, then continued his cross-examination of Graham Woodward, a county council witness on Landscape and Visual Effects. Mr Woodward described the CLR as having ‘moderate adverse visual impact in year 1, reducing to a neutral impact in years 5-10’ .

The inquiry then heard from Mark Chattoe, a supporter of the road. Mr Chattoe described frequently using the Crawley “rat run” to get to the west side of Witney from Woodstock Road. Mr Lowe put it to him that people prefer the quickest route rather than the shortest route and that the Shores Green option would provide a quicker route. Mr Chattoe disagreed, saying that in his experience people go for the shortest route.

Mr Chattoe was followed by Mark Walker, another pro-road supporter. He said that his parents, landowners of a plot south of the A40 at Shores Green, would not voluntarily sell their land for the Shores Green slip road scheme. Mr Lowe reminded him that in 2006 his parents were part of the East Witney Land Consortium who were promoting the Shores Green scheme. Mr Walker responded: “That was then. Times have changed.”

We then heard from Alastair Elder, county witness on flood risk.

Key points from Mr Elder’s evidence:

  • The original flood mapping was done using 1D hydraulic modelling techniques.
  • This has since been redone to use the latest 2D modelling techniques, but not for the whole of Witney – just for the area around the base of the proposed link road. The Environment Agency agrees with this approach.
  • The Environment Agency hasn’t yet given its approval regarding the planned flood compensation measures.
  • Flood compensation will involve lowering the land between the CLR and Farm Mill by 200mm and lowering the land on the eastern side of the east branch of the Windrush between the CLR and the A40 by 500mm.
  • They have been discussing the use of weirs with the Environment Agency but have yet to submit formal plans.
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