THE ONGOING SAGA OF THE REDFIELDS LANE ROUNDABOUT

Residents Complain About Ongoing Works

by For Fleet's Sake
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DEVELOPER PAUSES ROUNDABOUT WORKS

There have been a number of complaints from residents recently over the seemingly never-ending roundabout works at Redfields Lane/A287. The work was being carried out as part of an agreement with developers who were working on a nearby housing site but there has been no progress on the project for a few weeks, leading to questions about the “abandoned” project.

Hampshire County Councillor Stephen Parker has been looking into the problem and has been to visit the site. He commented:

A number of residents have observed that work seems to have stopped on the A287/Redfields Lane roundabout, and have reasonably asked why. This is a bit tricky, and I am trying to resolve it.

Many residents will know that the original developer Martin Grant homes has sold the housing site in Redfields Lane to Vistry Homes. Officers in Highways Development Planning are working with Hampshire County Council’s legal department to understand the ramifications of works already started under a S278 agreement (which is how such highway works are funded) and then the site being sold onwards. This is unprecedented so it’s taking a while to resolve.”

 
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Below: Councillor Stephen Parker at the roadworks in February.

 
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So has the work progressed much since the photos above were taken in February?

Cllr Stephen Parker:

Like a lot of such sites, whilst work may progress, not a lot appears to change. They certainly were working on site for February and March, and a lot of the landscaping has been done where the road has been completed. What is left is primarily the Bowling Alley junction and the making good of the Eastbound ramps.”

Vistry Homes cannot occupy any of the houses on the development until the roundabout is complete, as per the conditions of the planning permission – which was upheld at appeal. That should mean that the new owners will want to get the situation sorted within a decent timeframe. Fingers crossed the situation is sorted soon.

 
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UPDATE 01/06/22:

Councillor Stephen Parker:

“An update on the Redfields Lane/A287 roundabout.
The S278 legal agreement which permits the developer to undertake the works on the highway is an agreement between Martin Grant Homes and HCC, it can not be transferred to another party (so Vistry will need to enter into a new agreement with HCC). Martin Grant Homes have contracted Buxted Construction to undertake the works but I do not know the provisions of that contract, and thus what provisions if any allow termination or variation of it.”
“A further complication is that Buxted has had to pause their work to construct the A287 (Farnham Road) / Redfields Lane roundabout so that South East Water can complete work to divert one of their water mains in the vicinity of the work. They tell me they expect that South East Water will have completed this work within the next two weeks and they are looking resume their work on the roundabout as quickly as possible after then. They reckon they are still on track to complete the project and open the new road configuration in Autumn 2022”.
 
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UPDATE 10th June 2022

Cllr Stephen Parker:

“Further to what has been posted before, the legal situation has been clarified. The legal Section 278 Agreement between Hampshire County Council, Martin Grant Homes and Buxted Construction remains in place and remains valid. It is supported by a bond which guarantees funding in the event that MGH cannot do so (I have no evidence that they won’t). Any variation following the sale of part of the site to another will have to be acceptable to County Highways.

There remains the matter of the South East Water work on diversion of their main. County officers have been pressing for these works to proceed so Buxted can resume work on site. The latest indication is that these works will start next week, and that Buxted will resume work on the roundabout on 27th June.
Am I happy with this? No, but it is what it is. We are reliant on the good will of a third party over whom we have no control.
More news as it breaks.”

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