WHAT a disappointing event the ASDA planning consultation days on February 10 and 11 turned out to be.
The information available with regard to the building design was good. What was not acceptable was the lack of information related to the two main issues closest to most villagers hearts.
a) Discharge of treated sewage into the Rife and
b) Increased traffic flow and access onto and off the ASDA site.
ASDA makes a £800m plus profit annually and claim to have the best green credentials amongst the largest supermarket companies. Why then is there a need to discharge treated sewage into the Rife?
Is the Southern Water drainage network not capable of handling the increased discharge? What was the ‘Country Fayre’ discharge volume?
What would be the cost of ASDA, as developer, for Southern Water to improve their drainage network, if required, to take ASDA’s untreated sewage volume?
Has the alternative of using ASDA’s proposed sewage treatment plant as a ‘holding’ tank and then discharging treated sewage into Southern Water’s existing network, at ASDA’s quoted rate of a pint per second, been considered. I find it difficult to believe that the present Southern Water drainage network cannot cope with a load of a pint per second.
No one present was able to advise on the flow rate of the Rife and the impact the proposed discharge would have on total stream volume.
If the end game is a discharge into the Rife then the discharge quality must be to bathing standards to ensure bathers at Ferring beach are not exposed to any health risks. In addition, the proposed manually operated sewage discharge shut off valve, to be closed in the event of the sewage treatment plant malfunctioning, should be operated automatically. ASDA should also be required to fund the Environment Agency to undertake at least two bathing water checks annually to ensure the appropriate standards are being met at Ferring beach.
No information was available with regard to possible increased traffic flow on the A259 or through Ferring village.
The county council when they reviewed traffic volume on the A259 some 20+ years ago ignored the villagers’ request to have the then two existing access points into the village, off the eastbound A259 into Langbury Lane and Ferring Street, retained.
This now requires villagers to travel to the Northbrook College roundabout at the Titnore Lane/Goring Street junction and then return to the village either on the A259 or on Goring Way, an additional mileage of between two to three miles per residents journey, not environmentally friendly.
The traffic light control introduced at the Langbury Lane junction allows bus and emergency vehicle access into the village, excluding all other vehicles. Villagers request to have access into the village from the slip road was dismissed. The reason given by the county council was the risk of traffic build up on the slip road causing a danger to other eastbound traffic, due to traffic volume. As traffic volume has increased substantially from that date I trust that the same argument will undoubtedly apply to the slip road proposed by ASDA and the proposed will be rejected, even if traffic light control was incorporated.
Country Fayre operated satisfactorily with the present access arrangement requiring customers from the west to travel to the Northbrook College roundabout and then return to the Country Fayre entrance. The same should apply to ASDA.
Any road access amendment should include a benefit to Ferring Villagers by replacing the present A259 traffic light controlled access into Langbury Lane with a roundabout, at ASDA’s development cost?
W R D Salder
(C Eng, MIMech E, MCIBSE)