Issue details

21/00048 A228/B2017 and B2017/B2160 Paddock Wood Junction Improvements

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation is asked to give approval for the County Council

i) to progress the proposed junction improvements as indicatively shown on drawings SK24 Rev 4; and SK49 Rev D and SK50 Rev D through surveys, design and construction;
ii) to submit the proposed junction improvements shown on drawings SK24 Rev 4; and SK49 Rev D and SK50 Rev D for Land Charge disclosures and development control;
iii) to take a transfer of land for the B2160 junction improvements from the adjacent housing development under a S106 planning obligation and to acquire other land and rights as necessary;
iv) to progress all statutory approvals and consents required for the scheme including detailed planning consent, drainage and environmental consents and securing temporary use of land for a construction site compound;
v) to enter into construction contracts as necessary for the delivery of the scheme, subject to approval of the Infrastructure Commissioning Board to the recommended procurement strategy; and
vi) for any further decisions required to allow the scheme to proceed through to delivery to be taken by the Interim/Corporate Director of Growth, Environment & Transport under the Officer Scheme of Delegations following prior consultation with the Cabinet Member.

 

·   Background

Paddock Wood is a housing growth area within Tunbridge Wells Local Plan.  Three developments at Mascalls Court Farm, Mascalls Farm and Church Farm were given planning consent in 2018.  Development progress is at various stages but has started at all three sites and together they will deliver nearly 1,000 new homes.  As part of the traffic mitigation to accommodate these new developments, improvements were identified for the A228/B2017 and B22017/B2160/Mascalls Court Road junctions.

The proposed improvement of the A228/B2017 junction is for an enlarged roundabout within the existing highway boundary to achieve  an increased diameter with wider entry lanes and more circulating space.  The proposed improvement of the B22017/B2160/Mascalls Court Road junction is to locally realign the B2170 and change the current staggered priority junction into a traffic signal-controlled crossroads together with pedestrian crossing facilities.

As three developments are involved with no individual development willing to take overall responsibility or liability to implement the works under a S278 agreement, the former Leader of the County Council decided in 2014 that KCC would deliver the junction improvements and the S106 agreements were completed on that basis.

The S106 agreements have intervention triggers but there was an over-riding longstop date of 1 April 2021 whereby KCC was obliged to notify the developers of its intent to progress the improvements.  That notification was issued on 29 March 2021 and that triggered the full or progressive payment of the contributions such that they will all have been received by 31 December 2021.  There is also an obligation to transfer a small area of land required for the B2017/B2160/Mascalls Court Road junction scheme.

KCC has a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation to complete the improvements by 1 April 2023.  However, while Officers are proceeding diligently, surveys are required before detailed design can proceed, public engagement will be required and the B2017/B2160/Mascalls Court Road junction proposal will require planning consent and it is possible that construction may not be able to start before spring 2023.  One agreement also has an obligation to return the contribution if the improvements have not started within 5 years – April 2026 – however, the construction period is only about 9 months and so that risk is minor.

 

·   How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

The scheme supports the objectives by reducing congestion, improving the highway infrastructure to provide more reliable journey times and improved public transport links and accessibility, to support Kent business and housing growth and encourage economic activity to benefit the local and wider communities.

 

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Tunbridge Wells Rural;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/06/2021

Decision due: Not before 6th Jul 2021 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead director: Simon Jones

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: John Farmer, Projects Manager - Major Projects 07740 185252 Email: john.farmer@kent.gov.uk.

Consultees

Public awareness as part of the development sites planning applications. No formal consultation been undertaken to date, but an information exercise will be carried out when the designs have been developed and prior to submission of a planning application that is required for one of the junctions.

Financial implications: The overall estimated cost of the project is circa £4m and this is fully funded from matched indexed linked contributions from three S106 developer agreements. Contributions are already being received and will be fully received by December 2021. KCC will always be in a cash positive position and would not commit to construction until all contributions had been received. The construction estimate is considered robust with a significant contingency and risk provision but will be kept under review.

Legal implications: There are no legal implications associated with this scheme.

Equalities implications: EQIA Assessment will be included with the Committee report.