Slideshow, Questions and Answers from the Public Meeting with PORR UK on 11th October 2021
Please find below the questions that were forwarded prior to the meeting and the answers. At the bottom is a link for a copy of the slideshow.
1) the land next to A361 on the opposite side of the lane from where Pearce Haulage and Volvo Trucks is situated is proposed to be a manufacturing site for concrete track panels.This will be a huge eyesore for anyone travelling along the A361 and anybody heading down the lane towards Wanstrow village. Do PORR intend to landscape the boundary along the A361 and the lane to Wanstrow in a similar fashion to the earthworks that Aggregate Industries have built around Torr Quarry.
The land adjacent to the A361, towards the site’s northern boundary will be used predominantly for product storage rather than manufacturing (which will take place in and around the main factory building at the south east of the site). Elements of the development, including finished slab tracks and mobile cranes necessary for their movement will be visible from the A361, though landscape planting is proposed that will increasingly screen these views as the vegetation matures. Similarly, landscape planting is proposed along the eastern boundary of the site, adjacent to the lane.
2) the lane from the A361 towards Wanstrow was always dangerous when Pearces operated from Trinidad works. It is not wide enough for an articulated lorry and car to pass safely and I have witnessed personally 2 accidents involving articulated lorry’s since I have lived in Wanstrow on this short stretch of road. I believe a condition of any planning should include widening the road to the Trinidad site entrance to the same width as the road outside Pearces premises
The Highway Authority, Somerset County Council, will consider the suitability of the access to the site, including the ability for vehicles to pass safely on the lane. Porr will comply with any safety or mitigation measures required by the highway authority, potentially including localised improvements or widening of the lane.
3) The traffic on the A361 is now pretty continuous 24 hours a day. Trying to turn right on to the A361 from Wanstrow is already very difficult and will become ridiculous if the expected additional 500 vehicle movements from PORR is added. I believe traffic signals will be required to allow PORR vehicles, Pearces vehicles, Volvo Truck and bus as well as Wanstrow residents safe access to and from the A361. I believe this should also be a planning condition.
It should be noted that the vast majority of aggregate used to operate the site will be imported from Torr quarry to the north of the A361. This is not expected to increase vehicle movements significantly from the quarry, but redirect them to a local end point, drastically reducing the distance raw material is transported. PORR will comply with any safety or mitigation measures required by the highway authority
4) The environmental planning from earlier this year stated an expected 500 additional vehicle movement to and from Trinidad works. I have already stated my concerns about access to and from the A361, but even if only 10% of these vehicles headed from Trinidad works towards the village the cross road in Wanstrow village would become an accident black spot. In my opinion it is already one of the most dangerous junctions in Somerset as it is impossible to see to the right when coming from the Trinidad works direction. I believe that planning should stipulate the single track road from Trinidad works to Wanstrow village is for residents only and all vehicle over 3 tons are banned except for access to farms/properties along the road.
No trucks will be heading into the Village from the proposed factory site. The entrance and exit from the site is proposed to be sited prior to the railway bridge and there will be no need for any trucks from the proposed development to cross the bridge or go into the village. We note a number of other trucks are using Highgrove lane and this would not be confused with the trucks that will be using the lane to gain access to the proposed slab track factory. Furthermore PORR will operate a standard route for vehicles accessing and exiting the facility which will be designed and managed to minimise any interaction with the local village and single track roads.
5) Height of the new building at Trinidad Works. It is possible to see the current Trinidad works from Long Lane and certain other parts of Wanstrow but will the new building be restricted to the same height to ensure that it is not prominently seen from the village. This does not affect me personally as I can’t see Trinidad works directly from my property but could pose and eyesore to the village
The planning application will be supported by an assessment of the Landscape and Visual Impact of the development (see below indicative views from point 9). This assessment includes consideration of visual impact for receptors in and around Wanstrow. Glimpsed views of the site’s taller elements may be possible from some locations around Wanstrow
6) Lighting of the proposed development. This is my biggest concern. Light pollution in the area is growing and we must ensure that restrictions are placed on the level and type of lighting to restrict light pollution and ensure that restrictions are in place to ensure lighting is switched off between the hours of 22:00 and 06;00. The company may have concerns about security but infra Red night security cameras these days need zero light to operate effectively.
The application will be supported by a detailed lighting plan, including mapping of lux contour levels. No light will spill beyond the site’s boundary. This is a key requirement, particularly around the Ancient Woodland and ecologically sensitive receptors. PORR will also manage the lighting in discreet areas of the site when required for the health and safety of work activities and to minimise energy use. It is not expected that work or lighting will be required in the hours between 22:00 and 06:00.
7) Has work already commenced at the Trinidad site, because fencing and a site office had already been put in place.
The current site setup has been established to do some enabling works, such as a topographical survey, ground investigation reporting, demolition of existing buildings (with the necessary licences in place), removal of invasive plant species and various ecological surveys. We are also undertaking utility surveys, diversions and upgrades as required. All of this work is permissible before the submission of the planning application and has been discussed with the local authority and is essentially enabling works before the main factory construction.