Councillors raise concerns about noise created by M40 for new Upper Lighthorne housing development
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Outline planning permission has already been granted for up to 1,000 homes on land off Old Gated Road along with a noise bund and fence to reduce traffic noise from the motorway running along its northern edge.
Now Homes England wants to scrap the fence – saving £300,000 in addition to ongoing maintenance costs.
Stratford District Council’s planning committee met on Wednesday (August 31) to consider varying the conditions that would allow for the fence to be omitted.
Cllr Maggie Hedger, from Upper Lighthorne Parish Council, said: “It is totally unreasonable to expect households to achieve noise mitigation indoors through acoustic glazing and insulation and not be able to use their gardens.
“This development should be Stratford District Council’s flagship and as such the council should be seeking to meet all options for a desirable high quality town in which to live - not somewhere where it won’t be possible to open windows and doors for ventilation or enjoy being out in the garden.”
This was echoed by the chair of neighbouring Lighthorne Parish Council and also ward member Cllr Jacqui Harris (Con, Harbury).
She said: “This is a flagship project for all of us and we want to get it right and make it a great place to live.
"For the sake of a little more time and work we can reassure ourselves that we will have a new town to be proud of and not dogged with issues.”
Planning officer Emily Napier explained to the planning meeting that having the fence would have little effect on the traffic noise coming from the M40.
She said: “When the outline [permission] went through, the environment statement acknowledged that it was either a 7m high earth bund or a combination of bund and fence but it did accept that additional mitigation to achieve the internal noise arrangements would still be required.
"The change in levels [by having a fence] would not be noticeable to the human ear. ”
Committee members agreed to defer the matter so further clarification about various noise reduction features could be sought from the environmental health officer.