Tree Clearance on A24 at Robin Hood Roundabout Horsham

Philip Ayerst made this Freedom of Information request to West Sussex County Council

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Dear West Sussex County Council,

Improvement Works are taking place on the A24 at Robin Hood Roundabout Horsham,

There is an large amount of tree clearance that does not appear on the published General Arrangement plan.
Kindly provide the detailed tree and vegetation clearance plans and reports, environmental reports and all permissions obtained in respect of the tree clearance, particularly along the South side of Warnham Road as far as the Boldings Brook bridge. On this stretch a number of mature trees have been removed and these are not on the construction site. Also on the area to the west, south of Robin Hood Lane, where are large area has been cleared to enable a small attenuation pond.
Please provide copies of bird and bat surveys which are known to roost and forage in these areas.
What permissions have been obtained from Horsham District Council?
What communications have taken place with Horsham District Council Tree Officer or with WSCC Tree Officers?
Kindly provide full details of the replanting and mitigation schemes.

Yours faithfully,

Philip Ayerst

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

Dear Philip Ayerst

Thank you for your request which has been assigned reference FOI/1654

Freedom of Information request - Tree Clearance on A24 at Robin Hood
Roundabout Horsham

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), we aim to
respond within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, i.e. by or on
09/12/2020.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this request, please
reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely,
West Sussex County Council

 

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References

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westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

10 Attachments

Dear Philip Ayerst,

Our Ref: FOI/1654

On 11/11/2020 you made the following request for information, which has
been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

Request for information regarding the large amount of trees which are
being cleared as the area seems larger than on the published General
Arrangement plan.

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds data relevant to your request.

The Response to your request is as follows:

West Sussex County Council is required to provide a junction improvement
at A24 Robin Hood in line with the planning permission for the West of
Horsham Development areas.  The planning principles, through a planning
application, were approved in 2011 through planning application DC/09/2101
(please see Horsham DC website for details). This approved an outline
application for 963 houses and other uses. this was subject to public
consultation.  Included in this permission was a Section 106 agreement
setting out the highway improvements required to make the housing scheme
acceptable, in planning terms, and the legal agreement provided the
funding for highway improvements at Broadbridge Heath (recently
completed), A24 Great Daux (currently in review) and A24 Robin Hood.

WSCC have spent a number of years developing the scheme from the outline
scheme included in the planning application and we have, successfully,
reduced the footprint of the scheme on the A24 northbound approach and on
the Warnham Road, but we require the widening to four lanes for the A24
southbound approach in order for the scheme to deliver the highway
benefits required to mitigate the impact of the development as well as
local background growth up to 2031.  The scheme has been reviewed
internally by our archaeology, ecology and tree officers who have input to
the scheme through its preliminary and detailed design and also on the
landscape mitigation proposed.

We have included the reports requested, along with the landscape
mitigation plans and a detailed General Arrangement drawing.  Two new bat
boxes have been provided as part of the advanced works.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC continues to be
protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the
information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission
before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

If you have any queries about any of this information please contact me
 by responding to this email. Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision  by responding to this email.
Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

[1]www.ico.org.uk; or

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Paula

CI Group FOI

Highways

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear [email address],
I asked why the works extended beyond the site area.
Please explain why the tree felling has extended beyond the site boundary.
The site area is clearly defined on the construction drawings, your attachment 1,2 3. The Extent of works indicator stops west of the entrance to The Warnham Nature Reserve. I have photographic evidence, and now evidence in these responses that show that several substantial trees were scheduled - and now have been removed - beyond the Reserve entrance point and outside the site boundary. Trees 26 - 10 are clearly off-site.
Strangely the arboricultural survey Attachment 10 (and other environmental reports) indicates a survey area as far as the bridge, yet provides no evidence for why a larger felling area was considered, nor any reason why this is the case.

WSCC acknowledge that the scheme has been reviewed internally by our archaeology, ecology and tree officers who have input to the scheme through its preliminary and detailed design and also on the landscape mitigation proposed.
Please provide copies of these reports and input.
I requested copies of bird and bat surveys which are known to roost and forage in these areas.
Please provide copies of these reports and input.
I asked what communications have taken place with Horsham District Council Tree Officer or with WSCC Tree Officers
Please provide copies of these communications and input.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Ayerst

Dear [email address],
On FOI attachment 8, pages 11-15 are missing. Can you please provide these.
Yours sincerely,

Philip Ayerst

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

9 Attachments

Dear Philip Ayerst,

Our Ref: FOI/1654

On 11/11/2020 you made the following request for information, which has
been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

Request for information regarding the large amount of trees which are
being cleared as the area seems larger than on the published General
Arrangement plan.

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds data relevant to your request.

The Response to your request is as follows:

Thank you for your follow up message, specifically concerning the area on
Warnham Road, which we can set out a response below and have also included
some further plans and information.

We have included sign drawings 6121-RH-1200-034 and 035 which shows new
and existing road signs which required site clearance in order for them to
be adequately seen for the new junction.  Typical forward sight lines at
50 to 60mph (National Speed Limit) is a minimum of between 105m and 135m
to accord with standards (LTN 1/94 Appendix A).  Over many years a lack of
regular cutting back can make the current signs become obscured and so, in
order to comply with standards for the new junction layout, site clearance
works were required.  Where noted, specific trees were retained with only
canopy lift and I have checked on site and this has been the case. 

All our major scheme improvements require a process of independent safety
review, known as Road Safety Audits (RSA).  The RSA process starts during
the preliminary design (RSA1), continues through detailed design (RSA2)
and generally completes with a review when the scheme is opened (RSA3). 

The Road Safety Audit 1 noted trees obscuring the advanced direction and
information signs on Warnham Road, and this was addressed in the detailed
design as noted in the RSA2 comment (extract of RSA2 contained within
pack).

The extent of works is shown for the vast majority of the scheme, but we
did not require the contractors to take complete control of the whole of
Warnham Road, albeit they will have traffic management which will also
extend beyond the “site extents” boundary.

Site vegetation clearance drawings 6121-RH-0200-010 and 011 show clearance
areas required for sign visuals on Warnham Road as set out in the RSA
reviews.

Your follow up note also requested copies of bird and bat surveys which
are known to roost and forage in these areas.  You have been provided with
all the information the County holds on ecology and bat surveys undertaken
during the preparation of the scheme.  We have now included the
Archaeology related report (HEDBA).

You asked what communications have taken place with Horsham District
Council Tree Officer or with WSCC Tree Officers.  No communications have
taken place with HDC Tree Officer as this is not a planning scheme (the
principle of development and highway improvement was agreed in the
original planning approval).  We have included copies of emails from our
ecology and tree officers which set out that they have reviewed the scheme
during its design stages, the investigation reports and landscape
mitigation, the ‘lockdown’ online meeting on the 23^rd April was not
minuted.

Reference in the tree officer response refers to a CEMP, Construction
Environmental Management Plan.  A pre-tender version of a CEMP was
provided to the Contractors (and we have included this in the pack of
information) so that they are aware of the roles and responsibilities when
they undertake the works next April 2021.  The Contractor will need to
produce their own CEMP, for WSCC agreement, based on this pre-tender
version.  Please also note that full protection fencing as now been
erected across the site to protect remaining trees and vegetation outside
of the proposed works area.

Stephen Reed would be happy to meet with you (once COVID-19 restrictions
allow) to discuss your concerns and you can contact him, outside of the
FOI process, on [1][email address] he is on annual from the
22nd December, returning to work on the 4th January 2021.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC continues to be
protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the
information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission
before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

If you have any queries about any of this information please contact me
 by responding to this email. Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision  by responding to this email.
Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

[2]www.ico.org.uk; or

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Paula

CI Group FOI

Highways

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

9 Attachments

Dear Philip Ayerst,

Our Ref: FOI/1654

On 11/11/2020 you made the following request for information, which has
been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

Request for information regarding the large amount of trees which are
being cleared as the area seems larger than on the published General
Arrangement plan.

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds data relevant to your request.

The Response to your request is as follows:

Thank you for your follow up message, specifically concerning the area on
Warnham Road, which we can set out a response below and have also included
some further plans and information.

We have included sign drawings 6121-RH-1200-034 and 035 which shows new
and existing road signs which required site clearance in order for them to
be adequately seen for the new junction.  Typical forward sight lines at
50 to 60mph (National Speed Limit) is a minimum of between 105m and 135m
to accord with standards (LTN 1/94 Appendix A).  Over many years a lack of
regular cutting back can make the current signs become obscured and so, in
order to comply with standards for the new junction layout, site clearance
works were required.  Where noted, specific trees were retained with only
canopy lift and I have checked on site and this has been the case. 

All our major scheme improvements require a process of independent safety
review, known as Road Safety Audits (RSA).  The RSA process starts during
the preliminary design (RSA1), continues through detailed design (RSA2)
and generally completes with a review when the scheme is opened (RSA3). 

The Road Safety Audit 1 noted trees obscuring the advanced direction and
information signs on Warnham Road, and this was addressed in the detailed
design as noted in the RSA2 comment (extract of RSA2 contained within
pack).

The extent of works is shown for the vast majority of the scheme, but we
did not require the contractors to take complete control of the whole of
Warnham Road, albeit they will have traffic management which will also
extend beyond the “site extents” boundary.

Site vegetation clearance drawings 6121-RH-0200-010 and 011 show clearance
areas required for sign visuals on Warnham Road as set out in the RSA
reviews.

Your follow up note also requested copies of bird and bat surveys which
are known to roost and forage in these areas.  You have been provided with
all the information the County holds on ecology and bat surveys undertaken
during the preparation of the scheme.  We have now included the
Archaeology related report (HEDBA).

You asked what communications have taken place with Horsham District
Council Tree Officer or with WSCC Tree Officers.  No communications have
taken place with HDC Tree Officer as this is not a planning scheme (the
principle of development and highway improvement was agreed in the
original planning approval).  We have included copies of emails from our
ecology and tree officers which set out that they have reviewed the scheme
during its design stages, the investigation reports and landscape
mitigation, the ‘lockdown’ online meeting on the 23^rd April was not
minuted.

Reference in the tree officer response refers to a CEMP, Construction
Environmental Management Plan.  A pre-tender version of a CEMP was
provided to the Contractors (and we have included this in the pack of
information) so that they are aware of the roles and responsibilities when
they undertake the works next April 2021.  The Contractor will need to
produce their own CEMP, for WSCC agreement, based on this pre-tender
version.  Please also note that full protection fencing as now been
erected across the site to protect remaining trees and vegetation outside
of the proposed works area.

Stephen Reed would be happy to meet with you (once COVID-19 restrictions
allow) to discuss your concerns and you can contact him, outside of the
FOI process, on [1][email address] he is on annual from the
22nd December, returning to work on the 4th January 2021.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC continues to be
protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the
information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission
before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

If you have any queries about any of this information please contact me
 by responding to this email. Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision  by responding to this email.
Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

[2]www.ico.org.uk; or

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Paula

CI Group FOI

Highways

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/