Letter to The Highways Agency 2nd April 2005

Dear Mr Shuker,

Thank you for your letter of the 1st.

I note that the proposed Rivenhall Waste Management Facility is discussed in your Environmental Assessment Report because your proposals for the A120 Braintree to Marks Tey interact with this scheme. I also note that the Route Option Study was carried out by Essex County Council, in conjunction with its term consultants Mouchel, and that the waste management facility is an Essex County Council scheme.

This is a conflict of interests, i.e. as Essex County Council is proposing the waste management facility at Rivenhall Airfield, this is going to influence its route option study. Whilst I accept that the Rivenhall Airfield schemes are not part of a ‘hidden agenda’ they are certainly very much on the agenda!

Your comment about the ‘environmental return’ offered by the southern route is most perplexing. The Proposed Southern Route requires 122.4 ha of land take, more than each of the other three options, and consequently is the most environmentally damaging of all the options! The choice of the Proposed Southern Route points to covert manoeuvrings between the Highways Agency and Essex County Council.

I know that the A120 is a central government provision but that does not prove that there has been no influence from Essex County Council regarding the chosen route and the waste management proposal. In addition, I do feel that the Highways Agency has already made up its mind on the route to be chosen – one of your representatives at the Exhibition in Braintree even referred to the Proposed Southern Route as the ‘chosen’ route!

I am surprised to hear that you ‘would resist any proposals for direct access on to a new A120.’ Whilst your summary of the proposal does state that the only access will be via the two end junctions, it has since been reported that there will be an option on slip roads being added, though they will not be funded by the Highways Agency.

Can you confirm that no one, be it Essex County Council, or any other body will have the option of paying for a slip road on to the new A120? In particular, can you confirm that a slip road will not be allowed for the proposed Rivenhall Waste Management Facility? If planning permission is granted for this scheme, it is not creditable that finances would not be available to build a slip road. At the present time, the waste facility is an Essex County council scheme but it was part of the N.F.F.O. regime and the proposed major waste incinerator was supported by central government, as is the A120! See below:


4.2  Energy from waste has been the principal beneficiary of the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO), a regime that has done much to encourage private sector take-up of first generation EfW technology—mass burn incineration.

I am surprised that you are not aware of this.

I struggle to see how this area will retain its rural character against the pressure for urbanisation!

In view of the fact that the deadline is fast approaching, I look forward to receiving a prompt reply responding to the above points.

Yours sincerely,

Robert J. Lambert.
Coggeshall Resident.