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Residents warn they face years of 'sheer hell' over M4 compound

Years of 'sheer hell' are facing residents opposite Ascot Road after an alternative application for an M4 compound was withdrawn.

The site, known as the 'green triangle', will be used for the construction of the M4 Smart Motorway scheme by the Highways Agency.

This will see 32 miles of the M4 between Junction 3 (Hayes) and Junction 12 (Theale) converted into a ‘smart motorway’ which includes turning the hard shoulder into an additional lane and the installation of new technology on the motorway which will help keep traffic flowing and tackle congestion.

The application was submitted as an alternative to the Highways Agency development consent order, which would see the site being used for up to 10 years for the construction of the smart motorway and being based along the Ascot Road frontage opposite residential properties.

In July an alternative application was submitted by the owners of the green triangle site for a compound which would be used for up to six years and three months.

The purpose of the alternative application was to provide a better option for neighbours with more controls than the Highways Agency development consent order (DCO).

This alternative application was withdrawn when the applicants learnt it would be refused by officers.

Brenda and Robin Butler live in Willows Drive, opposite the A330 Ascot Road, and were disappointed when they found out.

Brenda said: "We're in for seven or eight years of sheer hell because of the noise 24/7.

"The Highways application will see it running parallel with the Ascot Road, they will have a concrete crusher in there running 24/7 and 500 vehicles going in and out.

"The alternative application had the compound base further back so it wouldn't be as noisy.

"I was amazed when I found out it had been withdrawn, it's just appalling, the alternative application was better for us all."

In a statement, applicants Anita Thomas and Siobhan McElhinne said: "We learnt that RBWM had resolved to refuse the application using their delegated powers and it would not even be heard in public.

"We were bitterly disappointed, particularly having had the support of neighbours who would be most affected by the compound, the parish council and Highways England. We withdrew the application as there was clearly no prospect of securing a permission for the alternative compound and therefore we could see no point in proceeding."

 

The full statement:

"We had significant concerns about the M4 Smart Motorway compound being sited on our land and made that clear to Highways England and to the inspector at the examination in public.

"When it became apparent that our land was the preferred option (in fact the only site) for the compound, although we maintained our strong objection in principle, we worked with Highways England for an alternative location on our site which would reduce the impact on the land, our neighbours and still leave us access for a large part of the site.

Highways England agreed to use this alternative compound, if we as landowners would apply for and secure the planning permission with RBWM.

"We agreed upon an area for the compound and a reduced timescale for the works, from ten years to just over six, and consulted with our neighbours. Whilst, like us, not wanting any compound the neighbours did prefer the alternative compound to the DCO compound location. Several neighbours wrote in support of the alternative application and Bray Parish council also recommended approval of the application.

"The application was due to go to planning committee in October but was delayed. We then learnt that RBWM had resolved to refuse the application using their delegated powers and it would not even be heard in public.

"We were bitterly disappointed, particularly having had the support of neighbours who would be most affected by the compound, the parish council and Highways England. We withdrew the application as there was clearly no prospect of securing a permission for the alternative compound and therefore we could see no point in proceeding."

Anita Thomas & Siobhan McElhinney

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  • Pursuer

    11:11, 26 October 2016

    Whatever site is used the users will remain there for an eternity. qv the M3., 'only 13.4 miles' currently expected to over run by 6 months. The diversions along the A30 are a nightmare, and are now stretching further still. How on earth will diversions work in & around Maidenhead? The A4 & A308 are single carriageway and already vastly overloaded. I suspect that Maidenhead Bridge will be unable to cope with the colossal traffic flow and given the usual nighttime/early morning convoys of HGV's it may well collapse. Properties along the diversion routes will become unsaleable, noise and exhaust pollution will increase dramatically- and even when it is finished it will not make any difference to traffic flow on the M4. No doubt the construction & destruction will continue just in time to move on to the Heathrow, (if it ever happens) work and the then additional chaos on the M25.. The SMART motorway doesn't make any difference on the M1, apart from the endless changing of speed restrictions (& no doubt fines) on the overhead gantries- which incidentally often conflict with speed restriction signs on the sides of the road.

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