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Unbearable traffic on estate going nowhere

Historic reasons for the link road:

The proposal for a southern link road arose in the early 90s when Park 25 was to be redeveloped for employment use. At that time it was planned that commercial traffic from Park 25 be directed northwards through the Holmethorpe Industrial Estate, to reduce the need for commercial traffic to access the site via St Anne's Drive. This plan was dependent on the construction of the Holmethorpe Relief Road, funded by the development of Holmethorpe Sandpits and Park 25. Tapton Estates (owner of Holmethorpe sandpits - later Watercolour) had purchased the old railway sidings and adjoining land to the south with a view to enabling a link to be made, but expected it to be funded by the Park 25 development. It was against this background that a clause was inserted in the Section 106 agreement for the Watercolour development, which refers to the construction of the southern link road.

Change in circumstances:

Circumstances changed when Park 25 was developed, not for employment use as originally intended, but for residential purposes. This changed the nature of the traffic impact arising from Park 25. The additional traffic flow from this revised form of development, within the constraints imposed by barrier control, could be accommodated on the existing Holmethorpe Estate road network without change, and removed the justification for a southern link road between Holmethorpe Avenue and Trowers Way.

Notwithstanding the change to residential use, the Council negotiated with the owners of Park 25 to ensure that a link was still made to Holmethorpe Avenue to allow from Park 25 access to the north; and also negotiated a contribution towards the Holmethorpe Relief Road - essential to ensure that the Holmethorpe Industrial Estate finally got a proper road access. What was not possible was to negotiate a contribution large enough to fund the southern link road.

Development of the old railway sidings and land to south It was always envisaged that the old railway sidings would be redeveloped for commercial purposes in accordance with the site designation (employment land). Once external funding was unavailable for the southern link road, the owners (Tapton Estates) did not want to include a link road in their scheme as it was not viable based on the economics of the site alone, and was of no benefit to them or Watercolour. 

An added complication was that Tapton Estates intimated that, in their view, the clause in the Section 106 agreement on Watercolour was ultra vires and unenforceable. The legal position was investigated by the Council's solicitor, and while more complicated than Tapton Estates suggested, acknowledged that there were grounds for challenge.

Council's position on link road:

In deciding whether to pursue the link road proposal, it was necessary to consider the position as it had then become. The facts were that there was no longer a planning justification for the link road, because of the residential rather than commercial development of Park 25. While there was a clause in the Section 106 on Watercolour relating to the link road, the legal position for enforcing it was challengeable; and in terms of encouraging the inclusion of a link road in the development of the site voluntarily, the land owner was resistant and neither Reigate & Banstead Borough Council nor the County Council have sufficient public funding available to fund the road. Having regard to all those facts, it was decided not to pursue the southern link road.