Option 3's Ancient Woodland area impact in the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public Consultation

The request was successful.

Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please will you provide all correspondence, documents and maps relating to the assessment of Option 3's Ancient Woodland area impact in the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public Consultation, including but not limited to any references as to why the route would have taken up 24 hectares and/or 12 hectares of Ancient Woodland.

Yours faithfully,
Bill Treves

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

A27 Arundel Bypass, Highways England Company Limited

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Treves

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding our approach to the
assessment of Option 3's Ancient Woodland area impact in the 2017 A27
Arundel Bypass Public Consultation, which I have dealt with under the
terms of the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004.

 

I can confirm that we do hold some relevant information on file and some
has already been published and is available [1]here where you will find
the 2017 Environmental Study Report and it’s supporting appendices. The
report and it’s supporting appendices are located at the bottom of the
webpage. This satisfies part of your request for documents and maps of the
assessment of Ancient Woodland prior to our 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public
Consultation.

 

The relevant text can be found in paragraphs 8.6.3 to 8.6.5 of the 2017
Environmental Study Report, and Figure 8.3. of Appendix Part 2 of the same
document. Additionally, Section 6 of the witness statement (produced in
response to the subsequent Judicial Review) describes the discovery of an
overestimation of Ancient Woodland losses presented in the PCF
Environmental Study Report. I’ve provided the relevant extract from the
witness statement below.

 

6. ANCIENT WOODLAND

 

6.1 Introduction

 

This section of my statement describes the discovery of an overestimation
of Ancient Woodland losses presented in the PCF Stage 1 ESR (Environmental
Scoping Report). It outlines the causes and potential effects of the
overestimation.

 

6.2 Historic Data

 

6.2.1 There was a miscalculation of the area of Ancient Woodland loss
provided in the Stage 1 ESR (published in June 2017). It was detected by
WSP on 14 May 2018 and affected areas of potential Ancient Woodland loss
calculated for both the PCF Stage 1 ESR and PCF Stage 1 Technical
Appraisal Report (TAR).

 

6.2.2 These areas of Ancient Woodland loss from PCF Stage 1 were used in
the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public Consultation Brochure to support the
non-statutory public consultation undertaken between August and October
2017.

 

6.3 Current Data

 

6.3.1 Current calculations from on-going design work confirm that the
original and revised areas of Ancient Woodland loss are as provided in
Table 2. The table shows approximate area (hectares) of Ancient Woodland
loss for each Project Option footprint, which includes a 15 metre buffer
from earthworks extents of each Project Option.

 

Table 1 Areas of Ancient Woodland loss for Options 1, 3 and 5A (ha)

 

Option PCF Stage 1 ESR June 2017 Current Calculations
1 5.29 2.96
3 24.31 12.15
5A 6.06 6.06

 

6.3.2 The discrepancy in Ancient Woodland calculations was initially
identified by WSP on 14 May 2018 with quality checks conducted between 14
and 17 May 2018. WSP notified Highways England via e-mail on 21 May 2018.
WSP continued investigations into the issue between 22 and 24 May 2018.
The initial investigation was completed on 24 May 2018. Recalculated
Ancient Woodland loss figures were issued to Highways England on 30 May
2018.

 

6.3.3 The calculation of Ancient Woodland loss was carried out in GIS
(Geographic Information Systems). A software incompatibility created an
overestimation of the affected areas of Ancient Woodland, for Option 1 and
3 respectively, which has now been corrected. Option 5A remains
unaffected. The incompatibility between the software used resulted in
miscalculations that appear to affect some but not all GIS files used in
the calculations.

 

6.3.4 The cause of the overestimation is a technical GIS issue. A
particular piece of software used to calculate the overlapping areas of an
option footprint and Ancient Woodland did not function correctly when
interfacing with the main GIS software.

 

6.4 Conclusions

 

6.4.1 With respect to areas of Ancient Woodland loss, the order of ‘least
area’ to ‘greatest area’ of Ancient Woodland loss remains the same (Option
1 least, then Option 5A, then Option 3 greatest) under the PCF Stage 1
(2017) calculations and the revised (2018) calculations.

 

6.4.2 The biodiversity assessments in the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public
Consultation Brochure would remain the same. These are the summary
assessments of biodiversity impacts, without mitigation.

 

6.4.3 It is noted that the PCF Stage 2 SAR assessments consider the
revised Ancient Woodland calculations.

 

6.4.4 Ancient Woodland loss is one of a number of biodiversity
considerations that make up the overall biodiversity assessments. In my
assessment, the overall outcome of this assessment would not have changed
as a result of the error.

 

6.4.5 It is noted that the area of Ancient Woodland loss is not final and
will change as the design refinement process continues through the PCF
process. Ancient Woodland losses will continue to be assessed and refined
through the design development process, and the areas are likely to change
before the land take requirements for the Project are fixed by the end of
PCF Stage 3.

 

You also asked for any correspondence relating to the assessment of
ancient woodland and I have attached the relevant emails to this email
(attachment 1-4). These emails have been subject to redaction as some of
the information is being withheld in reliance on Regulations [2]12 (3) and
[3]13 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), because it
constitutes personal data of which you are not the data subject.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 767,844 in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you may ask
for an internal review within 2 months of the date of this response for
Freedom of Information requests and within 40 days for Environmental
Information Regulations requests.      

Our internal review process is available at:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
should contact me if you wish to complain

 

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123
5000; or e-mail [5][Highways England request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

           Information Commissioner’s Office

           Wycliffe House

           Water Lane

           Wilmslow

           Cheshire

           SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alan Feist

Programme Leader

 

A27 Arundel Bypass
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | GU1
4LZ

Web: [6]https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a...
[7]Highways Agency. Safe roads, reliable journeys, informed travellers

Registered in England and Wales No. 9346363

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[8]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[9][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
need to.

References

Visible links
1. https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com...
2. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
3. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
5. mailto:[Highways England request email]
6. https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a...
7. http://www.highways.gov.uk/
8. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
9. mailto:[Highways England request email]

A27 Arundel Bypass, Highways England Company Limited

A27 Arundel Bypass would like to recall the message, "Highways England Response - Assessment of Options 3's Ancient Woodland - 767,844".

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution, disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and destroy it.

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000 |National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park, Birmingham B32 1AF | https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... | [Highways England request email] <mailto:[Highways England request email]>

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

A27 Arundel Bypass, Highways England Company Limited

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Treves

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding our approach to the
assessment of Option 3's Ancient Woodland area impact in the 2017 A27
Arundel Bypass Public Consultation, which I have dealt with under the
terms of the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004.

 

You may have received a response to this request yesterday afternoon,
however as one of the attachments contained names that should have been
redacted please discard and treat this as our official response.

 

I can confirm that we do hold some relevant information on file and some
has already been published and is available [1]here where you will find
the 2017 Environmental Study Report and its supporting appendices. The
report and it’s supporting appendices are located at the bottom of the
webpage. This satisfies part of your request for documents and maps of the
assessment of Ancient Woodland prior to our 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public
Consultation.

 

The relevant text can be found in paragraphs 8.6.3 to 8.6.5 of the 2017
Environmental Study Report, and Figure 8.3. of Appendix Part 2 of the same
document. Additionally, Section 6 of the witness statement (produced in
response to the subsequent Judicial Review) describes the discovery of an
overestimation of Ancient Woodland losses presented in the PCF
Environmental Study Report. I’ve provided the relevant extract from the
witness statement below.

 

6. ANCIENT WOODLAND

 

6.1 Introduction

 

This section of my statement describes the discovery of an overestimation
of Ancient Woodland losses presented in the PCF Stage 1 ESR (Environmental
Scoping Report). It outlines the causes and potential effects of the
overestimation.

 

6.2 Historic Data

 

6.2.1 There was a miscalculation of the area of Ancient Woodland loss
provided in the Stage 1 ESR (published in June 2017). It was detected by
WSP on 14 May 2018 and affected areas of potential Ancient Woodland loss
calculated for both the PCF Stage 1 ESR and PCF Stage 1 Technical
Appraisal Report (TAR).

 

6.2.2 These areas of Ancient Woodland loss from PCF Stage 1 were used in
the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public Consultation Brochure to support the
non-statutory public consultation undertaken between August and October
2017.

 

6.3 Current Data

 

6.3.1 Current calculations from on-going design work confirm that the
original and revised areas of Ancient Woodland loss are as provided in
Table 2. The table shows approximate area (hectares) of Ancient Woodland
loss for each Project Option footprint, which includes a 15 metre buffer
from earthworks extents of each Project Option.

 

Table 1 Areas of Ancient Woodland loss for Options 1, 3 and 5A (ha)

 

Option PCF Stage 1 ESR June 2017 Current Calculations
1 5.29 2.96
3 24.31 12.15
5A 6.06 6.06

 

6.3.2 The discrepancy in Ancient Woodland calculations was initially
identified by WSP on 14 May 2018 with quality checks conducted between 14
and 17 May 2018. WSP notified Highways England via e-mail on 21 May 2018.
WSP continued investigations into the issue between 22 and 24 May 2018.
The initial investigation was completed on 24 May 2018. Recalculated
Ancient Woodland loss figures were issued to Highways England on 30 May
2018.

 

6.3.3 The calculation of Ancient Woodland loss was carried out in GIS
(Geographic Information Systems). A software incompatibility created an
overestimation of the affected areas of Ancient Woodland, for Option 1 and
3 respectively, which has now been corrected. Option 5A remains
unaffected. The incompatibility between the software used resulted in
miscalculations that appear to affect some but not all GIS files used in
the calculations.

 

6.3.4 The cause of the overestimation is a technical GIS issue. A
particular piece of software used to calculate the overlapping areas of an
option footprint and Ancient Woodland did not function correctly when
interfacing with the main GIS software.

 

6.4 Conclusions

 

6.4.1 With respect to areas of Ancient Woodland loss, the order of ‘least
area’ to ‘greatest area’ of Ancient Woodland loss remains the same (Option
1 least, then Option 5A, then Option 3 greatest) under the PCF Stage 1
(2017) calculations and the revised (2018) calculations.

 

6.4.2 The biodiversity assessments in the 2017 A27 Arundel Bypass Public
Consultation Brochure would remain the same. These are the summary
assessments of biodiversity impacts, without mitigation.

 

6.4.3 It is noted that the PCF Stage 2 SAR assessments consider the
revised Ancient Woodland calculations.

 

6.4.4 Ancient Woodland loss is one of a number of biodiversity
considerations that make up the overall biodiversity assessments. In my
assessment, the overall outcome of this assessment would not have changed
as a result of the error.

 

6.4.5 It is noted that the area of Ancient Woodland loss is not final and
will change as the design refinement process continues through the PCF
process. Ancient Woodland losses will continue to be assessed and refined
through the design development process, and the areas are likely to change
before the land take requirements for the Project are fixed by the end of
PCF Stage 3.

 

You also asked for any correspondence relating to the assessment of
ancient woodland and I have attached the relevant emails to this email
(attachment 1-4). These emails have been subject to redaction as some of
the information is being withheld in reliance on Regulations [2]12 (3) and
[3]13 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), because it
constitutes personal data of which you are not the data subject.

 

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote reference number 767,844 in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you may ask
for an internal review within 2 months of the date of this response for
Freedom of Information requests and within 40 days for Environmental
Information Regulations requests.      

Our internal review process is available at:
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
should contact me if you wish to complain

 

If you require a print copy, please phone the Information Line on 0300 123
5000; or e-mail [5][Highways England request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

           Information Commissioner’s Office

           Wycliffe House

           Water Lane

           Wilmslow

           Cheshire

           SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alan Feist

Programme Leader

 

A27 Arundel Bypass
Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | GU1
4LZ

Web: [6]https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a...
[7]Highways Agency. Safe roads, reliable journeys, informed travellers

Registered in England and Wales No. 9346363

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[8]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[9][Highways England request email]

 

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ 

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
need to.

References

Visible links
1. https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com...
2. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
3. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
5. mailto:[Highways England request email]
6. https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a...
7. http://www.highways.gov.uk/
8. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
9. mailto:[Highways England request email]

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