DB Cargo have told residents that they’re withdrawing their temporary-period application to use the site for aggregates for 18 months. They’re carrying on with the application for permanent use, bringing aggregates in by rail and out by road, plus construction waste in by road to go out by rail. DB Cargo might once have hoped that the temporary application could be approved before the permanent one was published and objections came in, but that opportunity seems to have passed. They now want to have more meetings to discuss residents’ concerns and say their aim is for the rail freight facility to have no impact on residents’ quality of life.
More than 680 objections can now be read on the Barnet website and that may not include some that were sent by email. There are also some consultee responses in among the online documents.
Transport for London say they’re supportive of the proposal but require a Road Safety Audit, information on how the development helps reduce emissions and confirmation that the development contributes to improving pedestrian and cycle facilities along the A5. (That last is awkward, as the application took the attitude that cycling on the A5 is bad already and can be ignored.)
Barnet’s Transport & Regeneration team raised over 30 concerns and stated that “until the outstanding issues identified above are appropriately addressed the Transport & Regeneration team cannot support the subject planning application.” They
- identify contradictions and inconsistencies in the application
- find the turning manouevers using both lanes of traffic to enter the site unacceptable
- suggest better provision is needed for HGVs turning right into the site
- are concerned that the access road may become clogged
- question whether surveys on the A5 and at other facilities are applicable or comparable
- want to know just how many HGV movements are being proposed as the application keeps chopping and changing
- are concerned that the application considers some nearby junctions but not the three (Geron Way, Oxgate Gardens and Dollis Hill Lane) with the highest rates of personal-injury accidents
- query if 9 employees is a realistic assumption if there are 4 plots being let out to more than 1 company
- and more.
Satisfying these concerns and TfL’s may require not only conducting fresh surveys, modelling and calculations but changing designs including some redesign of the A5. We haven’t heard any firm suggestions for when this might be completed and ready for any further consultation, or when the application might finally go on the planning committee’s agenda.
Click here for earlier articles about the road/rail superhub.