Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 12

November 8th, 2011 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

This took place on Wednesday 12th October and began with Paul Kinchesh presenting his case as a non-statutory objector. His main point was that the county council’s flood model data are flawed, making it impossible to calculate suitable flood mitigation. Better data have been available to the county for over two and a half years but have been ignored.

Dr Kinchesh was then cross-examined by Matthew Reed, lawyer for the county.

Mr Reed: “Have you seen the relevant OCC document OCC/50?”
Dr Kinchesh: “No, there is a distinct lack of documentation available for public scrutiny.”
Mr Reed said he would address this situation, then asked: “Do you have any evidence of corruption?”
Dr Kinchesh: “No, if I had evidence I would have presented it.”
Mr Reed: “Do you have any evidence of someone following a personal itinerary?”
Dr Kinchesh: “No, if I had evidence I would have presented it. I have presented evidence of gross negligence and if that was intentional then it is corruption.”

Cross-examination ended. Then Claire Holman, air quality expert, gave evidence. Key points:

  • The current Environment Agency directive states that it is a mandatory requirement for local authorities to work to reduce levels of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide).
  • Dr Holman said that the NO2 levels of her study were not, but should have been, considered by the council.
  • Dr Holman  modelled Bridge St as a street canyon and the county study did not.
  • Both the CLR and Shore Green would reduce pollution in Bridge Street. The county council believes that the CLR would reduce NO2 levels more, but Dr Holman disputes this.

Then Dr Holman was cross-examined by Mr Reed. Key points:

  • Dr Holman is not criticising the assessment made by Mr Taylor for the county, but her data differs in relative reductions of pollution. She also believes that modelling Bridge Street as a canyon was more representative.
  • Shores Green would make air quality worse at the old Eton Close play area, but the difference is negligible.
  • Both schemes, the Cogges Link Road and Shores Green, show  significant reductions in carbon emissions in town compared with the option of implementing neither scheme.

After lunch Mark Lowe QC, lawyer for the Mawle Trust, asked for county council documents to be made electronically available and available to the public generally. The planning inspector said that all Library documents would be made available in the Methodist Church coffee shop for the public during the inquiry recess and that they are working on electronic versions.

Then the cross-examination of Dr Holman continued. She re-stated the point that both schemes would reduce pollution in the AQMA areas – that is, areas of the town identified as in special need of air quality measures. She also pointed out that there are other ways of reducing carbon emissions, such as reducing dependency on the car.

The inquiry was adjourned until Tuesday 8th November.

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