Posts Tagged ‘CLR’

Road to Nowhere

June 22nd, 2012

It’s hard to imagine there being a more thorough review of the Cogges Link Road. Here is Inspector Stephen Roscoe’s report. Section 7 gives the reasoning behind his recommendation that the Side Roads Order and Compulsory Purchase Order required to implement the CLR be “not confirmed”.

Paragraph 7.43 says…

The Council has drawn my attention to the fact that the January 2011 White Paper emphasises that transport is crucial to economic growth. The White Paper however also records that people who travel to shop on foot, by cycle or by public transport spend as much, if not more, than those using the car, and transport is therefore not the only factor seen as important to growth.

Putting aside the confusing use of the word transport, this comment highlights a lack of balance in how the County prioritises its transport schemes.

» Read more: Road to Nowhere

CLR inquiry: no news is good news?

April 16th, 2012

We posted earlier about the county council’s potential breach of planning permission over the Cogges Link Road, but you might be wondering what’s happening with the inquiry into the road.

It’s worth remembering that the public inquiry last autumn was not about planning permission for the road. It was about whether the county council can force local landowner the Mawle Trust to sell their land in order to build the road. Forcing someone to sell land is known as a compulsory purchase order and requires an inquiry to establish whether it’s justified by a “compelling case in the public interest”. That decision is ultimately made by Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Transport. Her decision is not expected to be made public until May, almost certainly after the district council elections which take place on the 3rd.

County council begins work on CLR

April 16th, 2012

We’re still waiting for the outcome of the Cogges Link Road inquiry, but it appears that Oxfordshire County Council has jumped the gun and begun work without waiting to hear what the Department of Transport says. Members of Witney First report that digging has begun at the Farm Mill Lane site (adjacent to the Sainsburys roundabout).

» Read more: County council begins work on CLR

Prime Minister Backs Cycle Campaign

February 10th, 2012

The Times Cities fit for cycling David Cameron endorsed the ‘Cities fit for cycling’ campaign this week saying, “As a keen cyclist, I congratulate The Times for drawing attention to this issue. We want to encourage cycling as a cheaper, greener, more healthy way of getting from place to place, and making people feel safe cycling on the roads is crucial to that.”

WitneyBUG has pledged its support to the campaign and the 8-point manifesto. We urge you to do so too by following this link to complete step 1. Do step 2 if you’re on Twitter or Facebook. Forget about step 3, your MP is already signed up.

So why does The Times give a damn about cycling all of a sudden? Is it something to do with the 2012 Olympics? The people best placed to tell you about that are the colleague of a young journalist, and her editor. I can vouch that when a loved one is hit and injured, out of the blue just going from place to place, it makes one think long and hard about road safety.

» Read more: Prime Minister Backs Cycle Campaign

Cogges Link Road: a 12-week wait expected

February 10th, 2012

According to Witney First, the inspector’s report on the Cogges Link Road public inquiry has definitely been finished and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for checking before submission to the Transport Secretary for her final decision.

Witney First expects the decision to be made “some time in the next 12 weeks”, so the first week of April or possibly late March.

Inquiry decision weeks away

February 8th, 2012

We wrote yesterday that there was uncertainty surrounding the Cogges Link Road verdict. Sustainable Witney contacted the inquiry’s programme officer, Graham Groom, to find out what was going on and he got back to us today. “I believe the Inspector has submitted his Report to the Planning Inspectorate but now comes several weeks of ‘consideration’ by the Secretary of State before the decision is announced.

The Oxford Mail has also been in touch with Mr Groom and received a very similar answer.

The relevant Secretary of State in this case is Transport Secretary Justine Greening, not Eric Pickles as we incorrectly wrote in November’s FAQ post.

Cogges Link Road: awaiting the verdict

February 8th, 2012

Remember the public inquiry about the Cogges Link Road? The Sustainable Witney blog, with help from Witney First, brought you daily summaries of the inquiry, which ended in November.

The final report from the planning inspector was due out on 6 February. This report will give the planning inspector’s recommendation about whether or not a compulsory purchase order should be served on the Mawle Trust, forcing the Trust to sell land that Oxfordshire County Council needs to build the road. However, as alert readers will have spotted, Monday 6 February has been and gone.

It is not clear whether the report will go to the Secretary of State and other interested parties before being made public. It is also unclear whether or not the report has actually been completed as yet. The consultancy managing the inquiry is called Persona Associates and part of their website is dedicated to the CLR inquiry. However, these webpages have not been updated since the inquiry closed.

Sustainable Witney will bring you more news as and when we get it.

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 17

December 6th, 2011

This took place on Wednesday 30th November and was attended by about 80 members of the public. It began with final submissions from the non-statutory objectors. Paul Kinchesh began and expressed his concern over the county council’s flood model, which he judges to be inadequate because it does not replicate the 2007 flood levels. Dr Kinchesh argued that a flawed flood model cannot lead to adequate flood mitigation levels.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 17

The Cogges Link Road inquiry: your chance to catch up

November 19th, 2011

The Cogges Link Road (CLR) inquiry returns on Wednesday 30th November for what may be its final day. In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to what it’s all about and (at the bottom) links to blog posts which summarise each day of the inquiry so far.

What’s the inquiry about?

» Read more: The Cogges Link Road inquiry: your chance to catch up

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 16

November 12th, 2011

This took place on Friday 11th November and began with the submission of more documents from Oxfordshire County Council.  The inquiry adjourned at 11am to allow people to observe the two-minute silence.

The case for the Mawle Trust continued with evidence from Isan McNeill, traffic and transportation witness for the Mawle Trust. Mr McNeill commented that Shores Green is better value for money. He also said that county council traffic models do not appear to promote any kind of shift in transport modes from the car to cycling or walking.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 16

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 15

November 11th, 2011

This took place on Thursday 10th November and opened with preliminary business. The planning inspector asked when he can expect to receive certain documents from Oxfordshire County Council but Matthew Reed, lawyer for the county, replied that he couldn’t say when they would be available.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 15

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 14

November 10th, 2011

This took place on Wednesday 9th November and began with housekeeping business. The planning inspector asked for the traffic queue data on Ducklington Lane that he had requested the previous day. David Holgate QC, lawyer for the county council, replied that it was being done that same day. Mr Holgate added that the council was currently handling seven outstanding submissions from non-statutory objectors.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 14

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 13

November 9th, 2011

This took place on Tuesday 8th November after a recess of nearly four weeks. It began with new document submissions from both sides. Mark Lowe QC, lawyer for the Mawle Trust, expressed his concerns over documents that have still not been received, as well as over the large number of new documents submitted by Oxfordshire County Council. Stephen Roscoe, planning inspector, echoed his concerns and wondered aloud whether the county council had been aware of the number of documents that would be submitted at the last minute before the recess began.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 13

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 12

November 8th, 2011

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.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 12

Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 11

November 7th, 2011

This took place on Tuesday 11th October. David Holgate QC, lawyer for the county, continued his cross-examination of Christ Whitlow, flooding expert for the Mawle Trust. Key points arising from the cross-examination:

  • Witan Park Industrial Estate should be included in any flood model. There is a wall to protect it, but this wall is not a flood defence.
  • There is debate between the two sides about what values should be assumed for the water flow when flood modelling. Dr Whitlow does not accept the county council’s values.

» Read more: Cogges Link Road inquiry: day 11