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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council Meeting: 25 January 2016

 

Report of the Leader

 

Vale of Glamorgan Council (A4226 Five Mile Lane Highways Improvements) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016 and related Side Roads Order

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To enable Council to consider support of the A4226 Five Mile Lane Road Improvement scheme through use of its compulsory purchase powers and to consider whether there is a compelling case in the public interest. Subject to Members' consideration of matters set out in the report it is recommended that the Council make a Compulsory Purchase Order ("the Compulsory Purchase Order") and a related Side Roads Order ("the Side Roads Order") to facilitate the implementation of the Scheme.

Recommendations

  1. That Council resolves, subject to consideration of the matters set out in this report to make a Compulsory Purchase Order, entitled "The Vale of Glamorgan (A4226 Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016 ("the Compulsory Purchase Order") pursuant to powers under sections 239, 240, 246, 250 and 260 of the Highways Act 1980 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 for the acquisition of the land shown coloured pink and the creation and acquisition of new rights over the land coloured blue on the draft Compulsory Purchase Order map attached at Appendix A to this report (the proposed "Compulsory Purchase Order Land") for the purposes of facilitating the delivery of the A4226 Five Mile Lane Highways Improvement Scheme on land adjacent to the existing route of the A4226 Five Mile lane, as more fully described in the report ("the Scheme").
  2. That Council resolves, subject to consideration of the matters set out in this report to make a Side Roads order, entitled " The Vale of Glamorgan Council A4226 (Five Mile Lane) Classified Road Side Roads Order 2016 pursuant to powers under sections 14 and 125 of the Highways Act 1980 for the construction of new highways and for the stopping up of private means of access to premises and the provision of new means of access to premises in support of the Five Mile Lane Road Improvement scheme, as more fully described in the report ("the Scheme") and the draft Side Roads Order map attached at Appendix B to this report ( the proposed "Side Roads Order").
  3. That the Director of Environment and Housing, acting in consultation with Head of Legal Services, be authorised on behalf of the Council:

(a)     to take all steps to secure the making, confirmation and implementation of both the Compulsory Purchase Order ("the Compulsory Purchase Order") and the Side Roads Order ("the Side Roads Order") including the publication and service of all notices and the promotion of the Council's case at any public inquiry, including but not limited to the steps in (b) to (h) below;

(b)     to make any amendments, deletions or additions to the draft Order Maps and/or draft schedules to the Orders so as to include and describe all interests in land and rights required to facilitate the carrying out of the Scheme;

(c)     to acquire interests and new rights in the Order Land either by agreement or compulsorily (including pursuant to any blight notices as appropriate) including conduct of negotiations, making provision for the payment of compensation and where appropriate, provision for temporary and/or permanent relocation of affected parties and/or for cases of exceptional hardship ;

(d)     to negotiate, agree terms and enter into agreements with interested parties including agreements for the withdrawal of blight notices and/or the withdrawal of objections to the Order and/or undertakings not to enforce the Order on specified terms, including where appropriate seeking the exclusion of land or rights from the Order, making provision for the payment of compensation and/or for relocation;

(e)     in the event that the Order is confirmed by the Welsh Ministers, to advertise and give notice of confirmation and thereafter to take all steps to implement the Order including, to execute General Vesting Declarations and/or to serve Notices to Treat and Notices of Entry in respect of interests and rights in the Order Land;

(f)      to take all steps in relation to any legal proceedings relating to the Order including defending or settling claims referred to the Lands Tribunal (Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal) and/or applications made to the courts and any appeals; and

(g)     to retain and/or appoint external professional advisers and consultants to assist in facilitating the promotion, confirmation and implementation of the Order, the settlement of compensation and any other claims or disputes; and

(h)     to appoint external valuers to assist in dealing with the land acquisition process and land valuation issues relating to the Order and any resultant claims for compensation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To provide authority for the Compulsory Purchase Order required to acquire land for delivery of the A4226 Five Mile Road Improvement scheme.
  2. To provide authority for the Side Roads Order required in support of the Compulsory Purchase Order.
  3. To delegate authority to officers to take forward the processes involved in taking forward both the Compulsory Purchase Order and the Side Roads Order.

Background

  1. Members will recall that a report relating to the principles of the scheme, its route, the Business Case in support of the scheme and the funding arrangements which have been agreed with the Welsh Government was reported to Cabinet in October 2015. That report can be accessed via the following link. http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2015/15-10-05/A4226-Five-Mile-Lane-Road-Improvements.aspx
  2. The A4226 (Five Mile Lane) is a non-primary single carriageway A-road which connects Barry at the Weycock Cross roundabout with the Sycamore Cross junction on the A48, and comprises an essential part of the highway network leading to the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zones.
  3. The proposed Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements will provide a derestricted (60mph) section of single carriageway road to current highway design standards. The existing highway will be retained to provide a safe and accessible route for cyclists along the length of the improved corridor.
  4. The proposals stem from the strategic plans of both the Welsh Government and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The new improvements will provide strategic and direct access to the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone, supporting job creation and employment and will improve road infrastructure, safety and provision of a new cycle route.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Five Mile Lane has historically acquired a poor safety record, particularly in the period between 2005 and 2009. During this period there were a number of serious accidents and 3 fatalities. In response, the Vale of Glamorgan Council undertook the introduction of a number of safety measures including a 40 mph speed limit with a static speed camera, resurfacing, improved signage and solar powered road studs.
  2. The existing road has been the subject of a number of reviews and problem identification exercises. The key problems identified from these studies include:
  • A perception of poor safety - this is irrespective of the improvement to the accident record since 2011 following the introduction of the safety improvement measures;
  • Safety issues related to the implementation of maintenance and network management on the A4226 itself;
  • Poor horizontal and vertical alignment with inadequate visibility at both junctions and on the existing mainline. This has the potential to result in increased incidents. The geometry is sub-standard when compared to its usage (based on Design Manual Road and Bridges (DMRB) standards);
  • Slow moving vehicles use this link which results in driver frustration, as there is no opportunity for overtaking;
  • Poor drainage, resulting in accelerated degradation of the surfacing materials (which are subsequently difficult to replace) and cause dangerous driving conditions;
  • The need to ensure safe access for local land use and local attractions;
  • An unsafe environment for Non-Motorised User access (e.g. cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians) ;
  • Journey times between the trunk road network and Weycock Cross are variable and both this route and its alternative (Port Road A4050) are subject to this variability;
  • A lack of resilience on the local road network. In the event of incidents the A4226 is not a favourable alternative route due to the constraints of its geometry.
  1. In July 2013 the Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport announced the intention to fund improvements to Five Mile Lane, as a means of improving access to the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone. Furthermore, the Welsh Government confirmed the commencement of the scheme preparatory work on 17 March 2014.
  2. In addition to the Welsh Government Minister's commitment for the scheme, the Vale of Glamorgan Council included the commitment to improve the road within its Local Development Plan.

Purpose of the Scheme

  1. The overall aim of the scheme is to support the future land allocation and growth at both the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zones, as well as the wider development plan for the Vale of Glamorgan, as identified in the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Local Development Plan.
  2. At a strategic level the road scheme seeks to:
  • Provide strategic and direct access to the St Athan and Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone in support of the Welsh Government's policy for job creation and employment;
  • Provide for improved road infrastructure to service traffic needs accessing or commuting through the area of Barry and the areas west of Barry comprising, but not limited to, Rhoose, St Athan, Llantwit Major as well as the Enterprise Zone;
  • Reduce the risk faced by users of this route in its current form due to its geometry and limited driver visibility and in recognition that the existing proportion of Heavy Goods Vehicles is expected to increase as Enterprise Zone activity develops;
  • Provide a safer route for non-motorised road users in support of the provisions of the Active Travel Bill;
  • Support the on-going regeneration of Barry (in line with recent major re-development projects currently on going at Barry) and to ensure its status as a visitor destination of regional and national significance is promoted and enhanced;
  • Provide network resilience to cater for additional demand resulting from the development on or in proximity to the Port Road in Barry;
  • Provide network resilience to cater for alternative route planning in the light of proposals to develop modal shift options which utilise the Port Road and to allow for segregation of traffic accessing the road infrastructure at the local and more strategic levels, such as the Metro.

Description of the Improvement Scheme

  1. The Improvement Scheme consists of the following elements:
  • A new 4.8km long, two lane single carriageway road designed to current highway standards. This includes 1.3km of on line improvement at the southern end of the Improvement Scheme. The new highway alignment will provide a 7.3m wide carriageway with 1m hard-strips either side of the running surface and will provide 2.5m grass verges. The new road will be subject to a de-restricted (60mph) speed limit.
  • A minor reconfiguration of the traffic lanes at the Sycamore Cross junction to accommodate the traffic movements predicted as a consequence of the Improvement Scheme.
  • The creation of two new ghost island junctions and one staggered ghost island junction together with new side roads to link the Improvement Scheme to the existing highway network.
  • The creating of new private means of access from side roads to maintain access to land adjacent to the new Improvement Scheme.
  • The provision of a new accommodation bridge to link land situated on either side of the new road and to provide bridleway access across the new road.
  • A new bridleway route from Northcliffe Cottage to the existing A4226 approximately 200 metres south of the Sutton Fach Farm property
  • The provision of a new cycleway route along the existing road, including a new section of shared cycleway / footway adjacent to the on line highway improvements works from the vicinity of the Hawking Centre to Weycock Cross Roundabout.
  • Provision of new highway drainage within and adjacent to the new highway including attenuation ponds to control surface water flow into existing watercourses to agreed discharge rates.
  • Realignment of existing watercourses including the provision of new culverts passing beneath the new road.
  • Street lighting and remodelling will be provided in the immediate vicinity at the Sycamore Cross junction and Weycock Cross roundabout.
  • The provision of woodland planting to mitigate for loss of existing vegetation in the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Middleton Plantation.
  • A scheme of archaeological investigations works along the route corridor which may be carried out prior to the main construction contract.
  1. To construct the scheme it will be necessary to divert or protect existing statutory undertakers apparatus. These diversions will take place within the land required for the Improvement Scheme. Diversions will be implements by arrangements with the relevant statutory undertakers.

Benefits of the Improvement Scheme

  1. The project will improve the present road to modern Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) highway standards, addressing poor visibility, poor horizontal alignment and narrow road width. This will be done by building a new section of offline highway which ties in to the existing road layout at either end of the existing Five Mile Lane between the roundabout at Weycock Cross and ends at a location circa 700 metres north of the Amelia Trust junction to the south of the new junction at Sycamore Cross. This will:
  • Improve strategic access for HGV and development traffic to the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone;
  • Make cycling and walking safer - a safer environment on the new road and fewer vehicles on the bypassed road (that will have a lower speed restriction);
  • Improve access for regional and local businesses - better access to the M4 and markets and more reliable journey times for customers and freight;
  • Improve conditions for private road users - safer and more reliable journeys;
  • Greater resilience on the network by providing a more appropriate alternative route to the Port Road corridor;
  • Improving the safety aspects for highway maintenance on this strategic route;
  • By straightening and widening Five Mile Lane, it will provide a higher standard, more free-flowing alternative to Port Road;
  • Improving the perceived safety of this link for motorised and non-motorised users;
  • Provide community benefits by providing construction work locally and potential training opportunities.

Programme for the Improvement Scheme

  1. The Council's programme currently anticipates, on a without prejudice basis, that works will commence on site in 2017 following on from the consideration of the relevant planning application, an inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order, should one occur, and the procurement of the main works contract.

Funding for the Improvement Scheme

  1. The cost of the scheme is currently estimated at £25.8 including land /property acquisition. The spend on this project will be closely monitored as the project progresses through the delivery programme.
  2. The scheme is being wholly financed through Grant funding to the Vale of Glamorgan Council from Welsh Government.

Description of the Order Lands

  1. The Order Land is shown on the Order Map and comprises approximately 43.2hectares. The land is predominantly agricultural land in nature and situated to the east of the existing A4226 highway between Blackland Farm and Sutton Fach Farm.
  2. Areas of land to the west of the A4226 and immediately south of Blackland Farm and immediately north of Grovelands Farm are also included in the Order.
  3. South of Sutton Fach Farm the Order land is located adjacent to and either side of the existing A4226 Weycock Road. A small area of existing car park is required for road widening at the Welsh Hawking centre. To accommodate the online road widening, associated drainage and the provision of an adjacent shared cycle / pedestrian route, land adjacent to the road is required in the SSSI Middleton Plantation. Loss of woodland will be mitigated through replacement planting in land situated immediately north of the Plantation.
  4. Full details of the Order Land appears in the Schedule to the Compulsory Purchase Order attached as Appendix C.
  5. Details of known interest and rights to be acquired are listed in the Schedule to the Compulsory Purchase Order. This Schedule has been prepared based on information gathered through inspection of Land Registry title documents and enquiries made under Section 5A of the acquisition of land Act 1981 and section 297 of the Highways act 1980.

Enabling powers

  1. Section 239 of the Highways Act 1980 provides a general power for a highway authority to acquire land for the construction of a highway which is to be maintainable at the public expense or to acquire land for the improvement of a highway.
  2. Section 240 of the Highways Act 1980 provides a further general power for a highway authority to acquire land for the purposes of carrying out works to stop up, divert or alter an existing highway that crosses or enters the route of the road and to construct a new highway for purposes concerned with such alteration as authorised under Section 14 of the Act.
  3. Section 246 of the Highways Act 1980 provides a power for a highway authority to acquire land for the purposes of mitigating any adverse effect the new highway has or will have on the surroundings of the highway.
  4. Section 250 of the Highways Act 1980 provides a highway authority land acquisition powers to extend to creation as well as acquisition of new rights while section 260 provides the clearance of title to land that the highway authority already have an interest by agreement.
  5. The Council is using its powers under the Highways Act 1980 because there is no certainty that it will be able to acquire the land and new rights required by agreement although efforts will be made in parallel with the compulsory purchase order process. The Cabinet of the Council received and agreed a report on the scheme on the 5th October 2015 and at that time agreed the A4226 Land Acquisition Policy attached as an appendix to that report.
  6. The land to be acquired is shown coloured pink on the Compulsory Purchase Order map. The land over which new rights are required is shown coloured blue on the Compulsory Purchase Order map. The plan is attached as Appendix A.
  7. The details of the Side Roads Order are attached as Appendix B.

Reason for the proposed acquisition

  1. The proposed highway realignment will improve a strategic route which supports future land allocation and growth at the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone as well as the wider development of the Vale of Glamorgan, as identified in the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Local Development Plan. This supports the Welsh Government's policy for job creation and employment.
  2. The improved highway will support the on-going regeneration of Barry and ensure its status as a visitor destination of regional and national significance is promoted and enhanced.
  3. The realigned highway will be built to current highway standards improving on the existing widening alignment and limited driver visibility. The improved alignment will reduce journey times and provide greater reliability for public transport and highway users. The new alignment will improve road safety and reduce the potential for accident.
  4. The scheme will provide a safer route for non-motorised road users in support of the provisions of the Active Travel Bill. It will also provide network resilience to cater for potential alternative route planning in the light of proposals to develop modal shift options which utilise the Port Road and to allow for segregation of traffic accessing the road infrastructure and the local and more strategic levels, such as the Metro.
  5. The Side Roads Order will provide for the construction, improvement and stopping up of highways and private means of access.
  6. The Compulsory Purchase Order will enable the Vale of Glamorgan Council to acquire the land and the rights of the land necessary for the construction and maintenance of the proposed scheme.
  7. The land acquisition includes areas required to mitigate the impact of the scheme. This includes land required for landscaping, drainage, ecological habitat connectivity, replacement woodland and land required to undertake archaeological investigations.
  8. The scheme is identified as part of the deposit stage Local Development Plan and the Council's Local Transport Plan.

Relevant Considerations

  1. Relevant considerations for Members in reaching their decision are set out throughout this report, but this section focuses on factors which arise from case law and Government policy on compulsory purchase as set out in the CPO Circular, to which the Welsh Ministers will have regard if the Order is made by the Council and submitted to them for confirmation.

The overarching consideration for the Council in deciding whether to make an Order and for the Welsh Ministers in deciding whether to confirm an Order is set out in paragraph 14 of the Compulsory Purchase Order Circular ( NAFWC 14/2004). This states: "A compulsory purchase order should only be made where there is a compelling case in the public interest. An acquiring authority should be sure that the purposes for which it is making a compulsory purchase order sufficiently justify interfering with the human rights of those with an interest in the land affected. Regard should be had, in particular, to the provisions of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights and, in the case of a dwelling, Article 8 of the Convention." Specific consideration is given to Human Rights issues below.

  1. In the context of that overarching consideration , the following issues should be considered:
  • whether the purpose for which the land is being acquired fits in with the adopted planning framework for the area;
  • the extent to which the Scheme would contribute to the achievement of the promotion and/or improvement of the economic, social or environmental well-being of the Council's area;
  • the potential financial viability of the Scheme, general funding intentions and the timing of available funding;
  • impediments to implementation and whether the Scheme has a reasonable prospect of going ahead;
  • whether the purposes for which the proposed Order Land is to be acquired could reasonably be achieved by any other means.
  1. The advice above indicates that the scheme is covered by local and national policy provisions. The scheme will contribute to the economic well - being of the area, it is viable and assuming that planning permission is granted, in due course, for the scheme there are no impediments to implementation.

Human Rights considerations

  1. In contemplating the use of compulsory purchase powers, the Council has taken into account the Convention of Human Rights as incorporated into United Kingdom law by the Human Rights Act 1998. In particular consideration has been given to the rights set out in Articles 8 and 1 of the first protocol to the Convention of Human Rights. The land to be acquired compulsorily represents the minimum to enable the A4226 Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements scheme to proceed. It is considered that there is a compelling public need for acquisition, which outweighs private land interests.

Planning position

  1. Planning consent is to be sought for the Improvement Scheme and a Planning Application (with an accompanying Environmental Statement) will likely be submitted in early 2016.

Special Considerations

  1. At the southern end of the improvement scheme, land is required from the Middleton Plantation which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Consultation has been undertaken with National Resources Wales in relation to the proposals and a scheme for mitigating the loss of woodland has been incorporated into the scheme proposals. In overall terms some 8.4h hectares of mitigation land is being provided.
  2. There are no scheduled ancient monuments or listed buildings within the Order land. However, there is a known to be the remains of a Roman Villa within the site area. This has previously been excavated and surveyed for archaeological records. Ground Penetrating Radar Surveys (GPRS) have revealed a number of possible archaeological features within the corridor of the Order land. A written scheme of investigation has been developed and agreed with Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust (referenced in the Environmental Statement supporting the scheme). These investigative works may be undertaken in advance of, or as an initial stage of, the construction works. Agreement to undertake the investigation works will be sought from respective landowners, but in case agreement cannot be reached, areas have been incorporated into the Order land.

Views of Government Departments

  1. The Welsh Ministers support the proposed highway improvements scheme. The Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Welsh Ministers have entered an agreement providing funding for the Council to undertake the improvement works as the Highway Authority as reported to Cabinet in October 2015.

Consultation

  1. The development of the A4226 Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements scheme has involved an ongoing process of consultation with statutory authorities and specialists over a number of years. Details of consultations relating to particular aspects of the environmental assessment and a full list of consultees are to be included in the relevant section of the Planning Application Environmental Statement.

Related Orders

  1. The Council has, in conjunction with the Compulsory Purchase Order, made provision for a related Side Roads Order, namely the "The Vale of Glamorgan Council (A4226 (Five Mile Lane) Classified Road) Side Roads Order 2016. The Side Roads Order would, if confirmed by the Welsh Ministers enable the construction of the new highways, improvement of highways, stopping-up of highways, stopping up of accesses and creation of new private means of access required in association with the Improvement Scheme. Further details concerning this related order are set out in a separate Statement of Reasons for the Side Roads Order.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The Welsh Government grant offer letter makes financial provision for costs relating to the purchase of land covered by the proposed Compulsory Purchase Order as well as for any claims arising from the order. Additionally the grant offer will cover the estimated costs of running an Inquiry should there be objections to the compulsory purchase order as well as the costs of appointing a consultant valuer to aid the council in the acquisition process. The costs of staff involved in the scheme in the Property, Legal and Project Management Unit are being met by the Council but the costs of Highways staff technical inputs to the scheme are being met by the grant.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. As required by regulation 3(4) of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 ("EIA Regulations") information will be provided in support of a planning application for the scheme.
  2. Further environmental information may be required pursuant to the EIA Regulations in relation to reserved matters applications submitted pursuant to the planning permission, or in relation to any other planning applications which may be made in connection with the Scheme. The need for further environmental information will be considered by the Council, as local planning authority, in each case at the relevant time.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Legal implications are set out in the main body of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no specific crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection from discrimination in respect of certain protected characteristics namely: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 places the Council, as a public authority, under a legal duty ("the public sector equality duty"), in the exercise of all its functions, to have due regard to the need to:
  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act;
  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a "relevant protected characteristic" (i.e. the characteristics referred to above other than marriage and civil partnership) and persons who do not share it; and
  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
  1. Steps are being and will be taken to ensure that the acquisition processes are applied in a fair and non - discriminatory manner.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The acquisition of the land, as set out in this report, supports the Corporate Objectives of the Deposit Local Development Plan and the Local Transport Plan which support delivery of the Five Mile Lane Road Improvement scheme.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for consideration by the Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Ward Members have previously been consulted on the principles of this scheme.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Statement of Reasons , The Vale of Glamorgan Council A4226 (Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements) Compulsory Purchase Order 2016.

Statement of Reasons , The Vale of Glamorgan Council A4226 (Five Mile Lane Highway Improvements) Classified Road Side Roads Order 2016.

Contact Officer

John Dent. Major Projects Manager.

Officers Consulted

Director of Environment and Housing

Head of Finance

Operational Manager for Highways and Engineering

Head of Regeneration and Planning

Head of Visible Services and Transport

Senior Lawyer

Strategic Estates Manager

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter. Director of Environment and Housing.