Ottershaw Roundabout and Landscaping Proposals
For those who have subscribed to the Surrey County Council “Commonplace” website regarding the A320 Ottershaw Roundabout works, you may have recently received an automated email titled:
“A320 North of Woking Improvements update: Let us know your feedback on planting proposals around the new Ottershaw roundabout” – this provides a link to a survey.
This live survey has only two questions about tree types for specific locations and choice for Murray Road hedgerow replacement. There is no provision for any other input! - not exactly the public engagement expected of our County Council.
It appears that the SCC A320 Project Team are planning in the background and again following their own agenda, keeping consultation to a minimum to avoid impact to their plans despite a flawed roundabout design by them which the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Forum (ONF) including residents have already challenged, highlighting this also to our local Councillors Jonathan Hulley, Malcolm Cressey and our MP Dr. Ben Spencer.
Following our recent communication, according to the project team, the landscape survey represents the “initial steps towards agreeing a landscape proposal”, - not by our standards it doesn’t!
If the design of the roundabout has changed since approval was granted as clearly illustrated by those driven by the revised Compulsory Purchase Order of land and its associated Side Road Order, AND given the outstanding critical issue of the preservation of the Veteran trees and hedgerows along Murray Road which cannot be met by their current solution or their own planning conditions, then we fail to see how they can usefully elicit your views on landscaping at this point.
Our view is that the current roundabout design needs to be reviewed and revised first and foremost for approval BEFORE we move on to any landscape matters!
Earlier this week, the Ottershaw Summit, hosted by our Councillors Jonathan Hulley and Malcolm Cressey inviting all local residents took place in the Village Hall. There was good public engagement which included an update on the A320 works. £41.8m is allocated for the A320 works supporting some 3000 new homes, and an estimated £11m has been allocated for our roundabout.
We need to ensure this money is well spent and this can only be achieved with proper public engagement, addressing the issues raised. The approach by SCC at this stage to deal with landscaping is simply unacceptable given the issues which affect it and if let to continue will doubtless result in a very poor solution for the local community.
We have been informed that a meeting next week will further clarify the process and we will feed the outcome back to you as soon as possible.
Bob Oliver for chair ONF, on behalf of ONF, OWARA, Ott Soc, MRRA & BRAG.