Why the Binsted route should be dropped from Highways' 2017 consultation options
We have prepared and sent off our ‘Evidence Report’, a binder weighing 2.6 kilos, demonstrating that the Binsted-Tortington option should not be among the consultation’s ‘Options’. It can be read online here.
Chapter 1 of our Report shows the route is not viable because it contravenes important planning policies. This is supported by chapters on Binsted’s history, Arts Festival and community events, a professional Environmental Impact Assessment about the effect on wildlife, and printouts from the ABNC, MAVES and Binsted websites including a petition of now nearly 1400 signatures against the route.
We have submitted this report to Highways England so as to inform the ‘Options Identification’ stage of their work on the Arundel Bypass. This stage finishes at Christmas and they will then prepare their selected ‘Options’ for a ‘public consultation’ next summer. We know from their 2014 announcement that the Pink-Blue route from 1993, with the western end crossing Tortington Common, ‘Option A’ in their 2015 ‘Feasibility Study’ reports, is the ‘starting point’ for the exercise, so is likely to be included. This September 2016 ABNC Evidence Report shows that the Binsted Option should already be excluded.
We have based our Evidence Report on ABNC’s Freedom of Information request in March this year which showed that a map of a route through Binsted and Tortington appeared in unpublished Highways England consultants' reports of 2004 and 2006. Descriptions and schematic maps in more recent Highways England reports show that they have been considering the same or a largely similar route as a possible Binsted-Tortington option to include in the consultation.
In addition to the planning case we have made and the new evidence we have provided to Highways: the Binsted-and-Tortington option is the most expensive option at £200M-£250M. The rational and responsible action is to take this option off the planned consultation shortlist.