Kingsbridge re-imagine the traffic numbers for the ‘Pfizer site’ application

Kingsbridge Developments have added further documents to the set they submitted in February for the 32 New Lane Planning Application. Following our earlier reports on the likely impact of allowing such a traffic generating business in the middle of a town already constrained by peak time traffic issues, Kingsbridge and their Transport Consultant, Vectos, went away to rework the Transport Statement.

Here’s what they came up with:

The result was hardly worth the wait; the original, unsound ‘Occupier Traffic Data’ remains unchanged and the many tables and statistics in these documents which build on this unsound data, do so with a level of mathematics that Havant’s schoolchildren could make a far better fist of.

Here’s one key chart which appears deliberately aimed at calming our concerns about the peak time traffic generated between the New Lane site, the A27 and the A3(M).

Just for fun, try adding up the numbers highlighted in yellow and see if you can arrive at the same totals as they did.

Note that data for only two hourly periods are shown 08:00-09:00 and 17:00-18:00, in addition to a ‘Daily total’ line. The breakdown for the remaining 22 hours of the day are only shown in the appendices.

Look a little closer, this time at the green highlight. While they manage to add up the number of HGVs OK, (1 + 1 = 2), they do seem to struggle with the number of cars, (12 + 0 = 121)?. Perhaps hardly surprising since we believe that the ‘Occupier Traffic Data’ used as the source does not include the warehouse staff and van driver cars. (We’ll be substantiating that assertion in our response to the council.)

The documents play heavily on the fact that New Lane is within easy reach of public transport and cycle lanes, but go on to admit that they expect 73% of the employees to commute by car. It’ll be an even higher percentage for the busiest of the three shifts, the night shift starting at midnight, and the evening shift which ends at midnight. Public transport around here isn’t much use at that hour.

We contacted the TRICS Consortium to clarify just what sort of ‘trips’ should be covered in a ‘Development trip generation’ report, asking: “should we just be considering the movements of the staff in the course of their daily employment, outbound from and inbound to the development site, or should we also be counting the inbound and outbound commuting journeys and methods of transport that the staff are using?” Their response was quite clear: “For all of our surveys, we include every single movement related to a development as a trip, whether it be a commute, a trip out to buy some lunch or any other reason, etc.”

So TRICS, a company part owned by Hampshire County Council and referred to by Kingsbridge as an authority on the matter, believes that staff commuting should be included in the ‘Development Trip’ counts and so do we.

By our own mathematics, that will add something over 2,100 movements through the site gates each day, seven days a week, on top of the 2,415 claimed by Kingsbridge. Since their figures in Table 5.1 (above) show 505 vans, just 58% of the planned capacity of 866, then when running at full capacity the traffic generated per day at the site gates could top 6000 trips. We think that’s rather more than the 2,415 that the planning application states and would dispute any assertion that it’s simply an ‘error due to rounding’.

Nice try!

The folk who live behind the site in Nutwick Road will be interested to see that even with the downplayed numbers in the new documents, there will still be an HGV arriving at or departing from the one of the 12 loading bays every seven minutes between 10 PM and 6 AM, seven days a week. Just think of all that reversing….

Only Havant Borough Council, with their proven expertise in logistics (think ‘waste collections’), could justify putting such a site in a built up residential area. The problem is that they inevitably will. Opportunities to milk a headline and a photoshoot are never lost on this Council and the local MP.

‘Major Brand’ and
Distribution Supply Chain partner
bring 1000 jobs to Havant’

(But at what cost?)

Given the inevitability of the decision, it hardly seems worth the fight. That won’t stop us though and if you also believe this to be ‘the right opportunity’ but in completely the wrong place, here’s the link to make your comments on the plan.

Make a comment on Planning Application APP/21/00200
(If you need a bit of guidance on how to comment on a planning application, read our post here.)

You have until August 4th to make your comments.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Framework Operational Management Plan, and in particular Table 3.1 contained in it:

Haven’t we seen that before?

We’re curious to know whether Hampshire County Council really do believe that the data is robust. It’s probably just another imaginative piece of text from the applicant. After all, they do also say that this is just a last mile’ distribution centre, where parcels are delivered via small vans to customers in the local area”.

The reality is, from Table 5.6 in the original Transport Statement, that only 5% of the delivery trips would be local, with the remaining 95% of the delivery trips requiring access to the A27 or the A3(M), to the New Forest and Winchester in the west, Guildford and Woking in the north and Worthing in the east.