Negligence over safety in Chobham?

A GROUP of Chobham residents took matters into their own hands after a developer submitted what they considered an ‘inadequate traffic survey’ that could ultimately ‘put lives at risk’.

The report plays a key part of Sentinel Housing’s Transport Statement to support a planning application at Surrey Heath Borough Council for 36 affordable homes on the former Little Heath Nursery site in Burr Hill Lane.

TRAFFIC PROBLEM – current view looking north from Delta Road in Chobham

TRAFFIC PROBLEM – current view looking north from Delta Road in Chobham

Angry residents responded by forming a Traffic Group and carrying out their own survey, which found road safety to be a major issue.

Access to the proposed estate would be via Burr Hill Lane, which continues as Windsor Court Road at one end and as Delta Road at the other.

Traffic Group Co-ordinator Sallie Buchanan said the survey for Sentinel, carried out by Stuart Michael Associates, took place on just one day and that only traffic at the junction of Delta Road with Chertsey Road was counted.

She explained: “It underestimates the true volume of traffic flow and, by implication, the increased risk of accidents the development would bring.”

The residents’ group, on the other hand, completed their survey over a three-day period, counting traffic for five hours a day. They also looked at the volume of vehicles heading in the opposite direction, northwards along Windsor Court Road and Bowling Green Road on to Windsor Road. They found there was three times more traffic travelling in this direction than in the Chertsey Road direction.

“Surveying for an extended period gave a truer picture,” said Sallie. “It better reflects factors such as weather and congestion on nearby roads which can increase traffic on what is used as
a short cut by many motorists.

“Our concern is the fact that Delta Road, Burr Hill Lane and Windsor Court Road have a number of severe limitations: they are narrow, winding and lines of sight are blocked; there is on-road parking, a public footpath, elderly people with mobility scooters, lots of schoolchildren, and it is already on a bus route.

“Clearly the proposed development of 36 homes on the nursery site, plus the new development at Windsor Court will severely impact on this situation.

“Traffic will be further exacerbated when vehicles from other developments in the area begin to impact the Chobham Roads. These include the large former Dera site development, the ex-British Oxygen site at Windlesham (a research establishment), and 1,200 properties at Deepcut.

“When they come or go from the Chobham direction, they will find bad hold-ups on Chertsey and Windsor Roads because of the junction. They will then, as now, turn into Delta Road/Burr Hill Lane/Windsor Court, which will become even more of a rat run.”

A report being sent to the borough council by the Traffic Group points out that Sentinel’s survey used a national database to predict expected traffic increases, rather than knowledge of local circumstances. These include the housing association homes at Windsor Court, new offices, homes at the old Tank Factory at Longcross, and a factory at the ex-BOC HQ in Windlesham, which have all been given the go ahead by Surrey Heath.

They found that at the nursery entrance, numerous parked cars were forcing motorists to drive on the opposite side of the road, which puts pedestrians, especially kids, at risk.

The Traffic Group also expressed concerns for the safety of residents of the development if it were to go ahead.

The group was formed as a spin-off from the broader Chobham Action Liaison Group, set up in response to Sentinel Housing Association’s plans for the old nursery site.

Anyone wanting to comment on the application at Little Heath Nursery should write as soon as possible to Michelle Fielder at Surrey Heath’s planning department, by post or by email to
michelle.fielder@surreyheath.gov.uk.

Be sure to quote PLAN/ 2014/0925 and copy in jenny.rickard@surreyheath.gov.uk and jane.ireland@surreyheath.gov.uk.

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