In response to a request for support for the claim made in the Partial Review consultation document, Steve Tapscott, Senior Planning Policy Officer, PDC provided this clip from an email sent in October 2015 from an unnamed Transport Development Liaison Engineer in Transport Development Management at Dorset County Highways:

"DCC Highways: I’ve hooked out a letter they sent us in October 2015 (i.e. post the issues and options consultation) regarding several sites. Rather than send the whole thing, I have copied and pasted the Wool bit verbatim below:
Wool
1000 dwellings
The matter of additional queuing at the level crossing arising from the promotion of 1,000 homes was the only outstanding area of concern in transport terms. Estimates of increases in queue length have been provided by i-Transport and checked by DCC Transport Modelling and considered to be acceptable and not to cause severe impact. Development would help support employment at Dorset Green and could support other services locally. A mix of uses could improve sustainability."

If the additional traffic from 1,000 homes is "considered to be acceptable, and to cause no severe impact", why are the planners proposing to move the train station, and build a bypass?

Steve added the following in his email:

"Previous comments which are still relevant included:

  • No objections in principle subject to strategic planning and mitigation measures.

  • Significant development here will require strategic planning

  • Wool level crossing is a traffic constraint due to it’s limited capacity

  • Wool bypass issues with non-deliverability (Environment Agency objections) and significant cost, scheme not contained in LTP or LP1

  • Online bridging over existing level crossing?  Significant cost.

  • Developers need to consult Network Rail

  • Impact of traffic on A31 Bere Regis, developers need to consult Highways Agency"

At last! On 5 July 2016 (helpfully after the drop in days) the Potential Traffic Impacts of Development in the Wool Area by Matthew Piles, Feb 2016 is released. The last para 9.15 has the summary. "the overall impact (of 1,000 homes) is unlikely to be severe". What does "affordable options for the level crossing" mean?