Eastern Bypass 2007 Planning Application Response Summary

Inclusive of Westbury area, new individual objections outnumbered equivalent support by over 10:1.

Wiltshire County Council's strategy was another planning application for the unpopular eastern bypass route.

The Council re-issued its eastern bypass scheme for consultation when there were road works in Westbury.

There was never any funding, yet public scrutiny and comment were again restricted to just three weeks.

People were repeatedly told by WCC that only the eastern Westbury bypass route was being considered.

Although a major new feature, Wiltshire Council did not show what the ugly bat gantries would look like.

But, again, there was significantly more objection to the eastern Westbury bypass scheme than support.

And the preponderant majority of the planning application support representations were just cut-out forms which said that Westbury and the surrounding area is in need of traffic relief.

The leaflet distributed with these forms wrongly claimed that a western route involves twice the distance.
The truth is that WCC's own far western route is only a third (or less) longer than the eastern bypass route.
The extra length is the part which was to bypass congested Yarnbrook as well as Westbury.

A relevant problem with the eastern Westbury bypass scheme, as proposed by WCC, was that it would ease traffic in Westbury but make it worse in the surrounding area.  The contradictory fact is only apparent after discovering and studying the corroboration within Wiltshire Councilís planning application documents.
Those who signed-up to support traffic relief for Westbury
and the surrounding area cannot be counted as supporting the eastern bypass scheme.  And 'eastern' is not mentioned on the majority of these forms.

A valid comparison is to be drawn between the only about 50 individual/original letters of specific support for an eastern Westbury bypass and some 600 individual/original letters (over half of them from Westbury and the local surrounding area) of specific objection to the eastern Westbury bypass scheme.

All sides publicised their views and offered form submissions.

But, of those who wrote their own letters about Westbury Bypass, over ten times as many were objectors.

Compared to putting a name & address to a form, any individual letter is also worth about ten times more.

A preponderant majority of the objections to the eastern A350 bypass were from Westbury and Wiltshire.
There was a gross of about 830 Wiltshire-based objectors, of which about 520 have Westbury addresses.

As any upgrade etc of the A350 at Westbury has implications elsewhere, there were also wider objections.
This is a factor, among many, which brought about the Planning Inquiry (as a Government letter explains).

Amongst the mass of objections, there was one e-mail from an English teacher presently working in Korea.  The Wiltshire Times misleadingly portrayed it as if typical.   All other objections were from within the UK.

Here is more about misrepresenting of objectors to the eastern bypass, when most were Wiltshire residents.

A leading figure of the 'Westbury Bypass NOW!' group had even claimed that signatures against the scheme were obtained from China.  This whopper sat oddly in a letter in a newspaper in which he ranted about lies.

After the independent expert planning inspectors had turned down the defective eastern bypass scheme, the same lead man of the failed Westbury Bypass NOW! group complained in a letter to a local newspaper that the refusal had been due to the 'intervention of outsiders'.   But how else could they be independent?

There were far more real objections to the eastern bypass from Westbury people than equivalent support.

Of about 960 'bypass supporters', most of them just put their names to the forms calling for traffic relief.
Of about 1140 eastern bypass objectors, most had written individual/original letters, many of high quality.

Here is an edited transcript of a genuine letter from a lady on the existing A350 traffic route in Westbury.

There are many rather like this Westbury objection letter.  It is representative of most of the real letters.

There were many letters too from local communities, other than Westbury, which would be disadvantaged by the increased HGV flow past their homes which would follow from the eastern Westbury bypass scheme.

There were also a number of objection letters from communities in Dorset etc that would be disadvantaged by increased traffic flow on the A350 overall as encouraged by the A350 Westbury eastern bypass scheme.

Many repeat the same arguments, but plenty of the objection letters gave their own thought-out reasons.

All of the responses were since sent to the planning inspectors, who were able to draw a clear comparison between the names on forms and the genuine individual real letters, between the minimal individual support and the reality of the overwhelming individual objections to the eastern Westbury bypass scheme.

And twice as many local people spoke against the eastern Westbury bypass scheme at the Planning Inquiry, compared with those who spoke in support of a bypass.

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