Hart has one of the highest rates of car ownership with 2 or more cars per household (56%) in the country ! See the statistics at the RAC Foundation.
With the Queen Elizabeth Barracks developments (Queens Acre and Crookham Park) and the expected Edenbrook extension developments, the roads and transport infrastructure will be severely strained and at or exceed capacity. This will be made worse by additional development in the area.
Transport corridors from Grove Farm would include west Fleet, Crookham Village, Dogmersfield and Church Crookham. These roads are already at capacity and there is little scope for significant upgrades to existing routes. Development at QEB has yet to complete and this will bring further traffic along local roads, to Calthorpe Park School as well as commuting outflows and inflows both locally and regionally.
Further large scale development would overload these roads as commuters transit to employment outside the area, especially as 60% of residents work outside Hart.
Some sites are over two miles from Fleet centre and the station, making walking and cycling unlikely, and there is poor public transport. Additional demand from commuters will exacerbate the traffic and parking problems at Fleet Station. The additional 150 parking spaces currently under construction will only partly address the existing demand.
We welcome the provision of revised traffic studies based on the now proposed housing allocations but our concerns remain that these may not reflect the actual traffic problems and issues that will arise from the further developments in the area. In particular any further development at QEB and Edenbrook will need due consideration to the traffic patterns generated by the additional housing, especially in light of the commuting patterns of the local population.
The Crondall Road Action Group (CRAG) is actively campaigning for speed reduction measures and traffic calming. A trial of traffic calming on Crondall Road a few years ago proved problematic and was withdrawn. Lessons have been learned and a new scheme is now planned. Consultations have been held on this with the results described on the HCC website at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/transport-schemes-index/traffic-calming-crondall-road-crookham.htm.
So where will the traffic go ?
How will it get to the A287, A30, and M3 – via Church Crookham, Redfields Lane, Aldershot Road, Dogmersfield, Crookham Village, Fleet Centre ?
Will the extent of the new infrastructure on Hitches Lane be a new roundabout, similar to the QEB ‘improvement’?
Would a new roundabout on the A287 help the traffic flow out from new developments via Redfields Lane, or generate more incoming traffic flow through Church Crookham and Fleet through that route?
What will be the effect of the Pyestock mega-depot on local traffic flows, the major junctions such as the M3 Junction 4A and the routes to it, and has that been taken into account in traffic studies?
How will the children from the new housing get to school? Will the school run become even more of a rat-race? How many children will need to be transported out of area to other schools because of lack of local provision? How will they get there?
Will unsuitable roads such as residential roads be used as rat-runs for commuters and the school run?
Will more ‘traffic-calming’ cause more congestion at peak hours?
Where will all the new cars be parked? Recent developments have attracted far more vehicles than are allocated spaces and the growth in car ownership and the reduced allocation in planning guidelines continue this trend. Less spaces for parking means higher density housing, more profits for the developers and an even bigger parking problem!
Or will the traffic studies give data that is similar to that we already have?
Hart’s Transport Framework
Calls For Action At Accident Hotspot
Worried residents are again calling for action following another horror smash along a dangerous road. People living in Elvetham Road, Fleet, fear that someone will die unless something is done.
A Resident’s Request to Hart District Council:
I understand that Grove Farm has been earmarked as a possible site for development within the LDF.
As a resident of Crookham Village for 18 years now I have seen many changes. When I moved here it was a quiet, sleepy, rural village with beautiful accessible countryside on the doorstep which, frankly, was the attraction.
I now find myself living on a major “rat run” which, since the completion of Elvetham Heath, has seen traffic flow and speeds increase dramatically.
There have been at least 6 road traffic accidents outside my house in recent years, all of which have caused substantial damage to local residents’ personal property. Usually the driver’s car ends up in the ditch adjacent to my house and on the last occasion the 30 mph sign was felled and is yet to be replaced by Hampshire Highways, despite my numerous requests for it to be re-instated. Fortunately, no one has yet been seriously injured.
My children walk daily to school and my heart is in my mouth as they stand and wait to cross Pilcot Road at the peak time every morning. CrossingPilcot Roadused to be a simple, safe, task. Not any more! It is not uncommon to wait for several minutes before being able to cross safely and regrettably many cars do not adhere to the 30 mph limit.
If the proposed Grove Farm, or indeed the other proposed developments surrounding Crookham Village are to be considered by Hart District Council, I would like to respectfully and formally request that Hampshire Highways carries out a detailed traffic survey of Crookham Village and the surrounding areas to establish how the increased traffic density and demand will cope safely on the current country roads and lanes should a proposed development go ahead. This study must be carried out once the developments at Edenbrook and QEB have been completed, otherwise the findings and data will not be a true reflection of current traffic density and speed, taking into account the safety of all road users and pedestrians. Additionally, the survey must certainly be carried out before any further local development is decided upon.
Grove Farm is being considered for inclusion in the Hart Local Plan.
The promoter of the site (Berkeley Strategic Land Limited) has commissioned a transport assessment of the potential transport implications of the development on the wider surrounding area includingCrookhamVillage.
It identifies what measures will be required to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport and what measures will need to be taken to deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the development.
The transport assessment is currently in draft form and is being reviewed by Hart District Council and the Highways and Transportation Department of Hampshire County Council. Once it has been finalised, it would become publicly available.
One of the options being considered is the realignment of Hitches Lane to discourage traffic from the proposed development from travelling south into Crookham Village and beyond to the A287.
Hart District Council has commissioned a strategic transport assessment of the impact of all potential development in the Local Plan. It looks forward to 2026 and takes account of the housing being constructed at Edenbrook and Queen Elizabeth Barracks. The final report will be finalised after the local elections and will be placed on the Council’s website. Any planning application for a major housing development at Grove Farm would also need to be supported by a detailed transport assessment.
A Similar Request was sent to Hampshire County Council:
Hart District Council has carried out a public consultation on the draft Local Development Framework ‘Core Strategy’, which identifies Grove Farm for possible development.
The Core Strategy is still being drafted. Therefore, no decisions have been taken yet on the location and quantum of development in Hart. Hart DC are carrying out their own assessment of the transport impacts for the proposed level of development contained in the Core Strategy and this will be used to inform the final document.
In advance of any subsequent planning application coming forward, the potential developer would have to undertake a Transport Assessment for the scheme. This would usually include detailed ‘baseline’ traffic information (essentially a series of traffic counts on roads and junctions in the surrounding area). Also included in the assessment would be a review of all ‘committed development’ in the area in order to account for extra traffic that will be coming forward but not as yet on the network (for example, were the application to come forward now both Edenbrook and QEB would be regarded as committed and therefore the traffic generation from those sites will be factored in as based on the predicated traffic generation for each of those sites).
The Transport Assessment identifies any infrastructure deficits as a result of the development traffic using the local network (such as potential safety or capacity issues) to agree what measures the developer must bring forward to make the development acceptable in transport terms. It is not Hampshire County Council who carry out traffic surveys when a planning application is being considered, as all of this cost is borne by the developer. HCC do though provide comments and recommendations to the planning authority once the information has been received.