East Grinstead has long established problems with traffic congestion and inadequate road infrastructure.
The current Mid Sussex Local Plan says: HERE
The West Sussex Structure Plan identified a Strategic Location at East Grinstead that was intended to fund a relief road. MSDC said that this would provide net traffic relief below 2004 levels and that it could be built entirely within the county boundary.
WSCC with the East Grinstead Developer Consortium jointly commissioned Peter Brett Associates to build a Multi Modal Transport Model for the East Grinstead area to test whether or not the relief road would work.
The relief road scheme would make traffic conditions worse
A number of reports were produced that established that the relief road would not improve the traffic conditions because
MSDC error over numbers of homes tested
It also became clear that MSDC had mistakenly claimed that the modelling had tested the full quantum of houses that they were planning - 4,700. The PRC's transport consultants, MTRU, demonstrated that this was not true and that only 2600 house had been tested. This MSDC error was subsequently confirmed by Peter Brett Associates and WSCC officials.
There is no possibility of an effective relief road being delivered
The relief road proposal suffered further fatal flaws when it became clear
Alternative Remedies - junction improvements
A series of further studies were undertaken by Atkins. The third one, commissioned by East Grinstead's county councillors, quantified how much additional housing might be accommodated by improving the junctions along the A22 London Road between Moat Road (A264E) and Copthorne Road (A264W).
This concluded that around 765 additional houses (above the actual number built by April 2011) might be offset by these improvements, at a cost of roughly £5m. WSCC offcials, as the Highways Authority have provided their opinion on these and the Town Council commissioned their own report from consultants MTRU. By coincidence, 765 homes happen to be the number that MSDC said were already 'committed' in April 2011.
The District Plan pays no attention to the findings. East Grinstead Cllrs John O'Brien and Norman Webster have made it clear that the District Council Leadership does not expect EGTC to limit the allocation of housing through the Neighbourhood Plan to take account of the evidence.
Apparently MSDC will not accept an EG Neighbourhood Plan unless it includes at least a further 635 homes.
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