Aims and benefits
The primary objective of the GAR is that it will enable the sustainable redevelopment of the former Gedling Colliery / Chase Farm site and adjoining land for mixed-use purposes by providing safe and adequate access to the proposed residential, employment and community related uses proposed for the site.
The secondary objective of the GAR is that it will also provide a 'bypass' link to the east of Gedling, linking the area with the wider road network and consequently Nottingham City Centre.
The new access road will enable the sustainable redevelopment of the former Gedling Colliery / Chase Farm brownfield site, which has been redundant since the colliery closed in 1991.
The redevelopment is for mixed use including of residential, employment and community related uses and includes:
- up to 1,050 residential dwellings;
- B1 (office) and B2 (light industrial) buildings;
- a local centre with shops; and
- access to Gedling Country Park.
Planning permission for the residential development on the former Gedling Colliery / Chase Farm site was determined in May 2016 by Gedling Borough Council and permission granted in March 2017. Construction commenced on the first phase of housing in Spring 2017.
The housing developer is Keepmoat Homes Ltd. It is the intention to deliver the development over three phases. Work has already started on the first phase (1a) of the development which includes 315 new homes. This is the maximum number of homes that can be constructed without the GAR being in place. The second phase (1b) will take the number of homes up to 506. The final phase (2) has outline planning permission and will see the site completed with associated facilities in place.
Gedling village bypass
The A6211 between Mapperley Plains and Colwick Loop Road in Gedling has been subject to an increasing amount of traffic and is one of the most heavily used roads in the region, carrying over 15,000 vehicles a day.
The GAR will provide a safer, less congested and faster route for this through traffic.
The existing route will remain to provide a quieter route for local traffic, buses, cyclists and pedestrians. Upon completion of the GAR, the new road will become the A6211, and the existing route will be declassified, save for Colwick Loop Road which will be reclassified as a ‘B’ class road.
It is also intended to reduce the speed limit on Arnold Lane and introduce a 7.5t Environmental Weight Limit (EWL) on Burton Road, Shearing Hill and Arnold Lane, by making a Traffic Regulation Order.
The Analysis of Monetised Costs and Benefits (“AMCB”) for GAR indicates that economic efficiencies experience by commuters and businesses, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, safety and other efficiency benefits are worth £76million. This benefit generates a Benefit to Cost Ratio (“BCR”) of 5.06 against the total scheme costs. This represents ‘Very High Value’ for money.
Furthermore, journey time reliability, land value uplift, planning gain, and other benefits, provide additional economic benefits not included in the AMCB totalling £47.3million.
The addition of these items into the economic outputs gives a Present Value benefit of £123.3 million and a BCR of 8.21.
The air quality assessment for GAR predicts that 94.7% of sensitive receptors within 200m of GAR are predicted to experience a reduction in exposure to nitrogen dioxide and, 91.1% are predicted to experience a reduction in PM10 particulate matter.
The noise assessment for GAR predicts that 91% of properties within 400m of GAR will experience an increase in noise of less than 3dB by 2034. Noise generated by the road in use have been mitigated through the use of noise bunds and noise attenuation fencing at key locations. Many sensitive receptors on Arnold Lane, Lambley Lane and Spring Lane are predicted to experience a reduction in noise levels.
The Cost and Benefit to Accidents -Light Touch assessment considers the GAR will have no significant impact on road safety. This is because the localised benefits on roads where traffic is reduced are offset by the predicted accidents occurring on the new road.
To construct the GAR, 4.16 hectares of woodland needs to be removed, however the landscape design includes for the planting of 5.84 hectrates of new woodland. This represents a 40% increase in woodland area.
The aim of the landscape scheme for the GAR is to integrate the new road into the surrounding countryside and reduce the visual impact for local residents, users of public rights of way and the paths within Gedling Country Park. The landscape treatments also aim to mitigate ecological impacts and maintain biodiversity. The majority of the proposed planting is native species, in keeping with the Mid Nottinghamshire Farmlands local landscape character and includes tree planting, woodland, wet woodland, woodland edge planting and hedgerow planting. Grass seeding includes species rich mixes and a wetland grass mix to the balancing ponds. Native aquatic/marginal planting will also be carried out to the balancing ponds to help improve biodiversity.
The GAR includes a substantial programme of ecology mitigation measures and habitat enhancement.
The design includes for badger fencing to prevent encroachment onto the new road and the construction of badger tunnels along the route, which have been designed on the alignment of known badger commuting / foraging routes. Complimentary landscaping will encourage the use of the tunnels and the system of road lighting has been designed to prevent the entrance to the tunnels being in areas of higher light intensity.
The swarming sites at the tunnel entrance and the pepperpots have been retained and protected by the design, which will involve the construction of a 7m high retaining wall around the pepperpot.
A new bat house featuring loose waney edge timber cladding, mortar gaps, wall slots, bat access bricks, cavity wall boxes, and gaps in the mortar ridge, has been constructed at Glebe Farm to mitigate for the loss of a maternity roost in the demolished farm buildings.
‘Bat hop overs’ will be planted to minimise disruption to commuting and foraging routes. This will be achieved by planting taller and denser trees up to the road verge. The ‘hop overs’ will be planted between the road lighting columns, to take advantage of the lower light intensity.
Several bat boxes have been installed, including:
• Hibernations boxes
• even Large colony boxes
• Miramare bat boxes
The design includes for amphibian tunnels to allow amphibians to safely commute beneath the 4 arms of the roundabout between the two settling lagoons located within the proposed Gedling Country Park and to the south of GAR from the new waterbody east of the new lagoons.
The landscape proposals include increased scrub planting to the south of the Gedling Country Park lagoons for frogs and toads to overwinter.
Amphibian and reptile refugia such as log piles and chipping piles will also be included in the landscape scheme design.
Substrate supporting Open Mosaic Habitat - 100mm of soil which will include the seeds form Birds Foot Trefoil (an important Butterfly larval food plant) has been scraped off and translocated to 3 receptor sites within the Country Park.
In addition to this, an area of Open Mosaic Habitat will be created adjacent the 4-arm roundabout and seeded with a flowering lawn seed mixture containing Birds Foot Trefoil.
GAR is part of a wider package of sustainable transport measures for the area.
There is provision for non-motorised users by means of a shared footway / cycleway facility for pedestrians and cyclists along the length of the GAR. This will intersect with existing walking / cycling infrastructure at key locations including the existing facilities on the A612 Nottingham Road / Trent Valley Road, and Mapperley Plains. It will connect on the cycle facility constructed in 2019 between Mapperley Plains and Arno Vale Road as well as the Keepmoat development.
Pedestrian crossing points will also be provided across the GAR to enable the public access to land to Gedling Country Park.
Gedling Country Park
To construct the new road a small proportion of Gedling Country Park will be required. This land will however be replaced with a larger area of neighbouring land. The country park will therefore increase in size as a result of the scheme.
The GAR includes provision for several access points for non-motorised users along the south-west flank of the Country Park including from the Keepmoat development and Lambley Lane Recreation Ground.