Newtown bypass noise highlights a general cause for concern
Concern is mounting among chartered surveyors and property owners on the reliability of visual and noise impact assessments with regard to construction of new roads and infrastructure projects.
The issue has been raised following the opening of Newtown Bypass where property owners who were promised that the road would not impact on their homes are now experiencing unexpected levels of noise from traffic on the road.
In some instances there is a mismatch between what the environmental assessments say and what is actually happening on the ground.
For instance, when a road scheme is going for approval the environment assessment, which is taken as the gospel, might say that you won’t see it or hear it, or the most you will see is the top of a very tall lorry, while actually you can see the wheel arches on a car.
We are concerned about the long term effects for property owners close to the road. Even though they should be able to get further compensation, they still have to live with the noise and visual impact. And the cost of additional compensation will be coming from tax payer’s money.
For example, one property owner affected by the Newtown Bypass declined to sell his place to the Welsh Government after he was told by the land acquisition team that he wouldn’t hear and see much. Now he has lights shining in and can see plenty and hear plenty.
If he wound the clock back he would have sold it, but doesn’t now have the opportunity.
We believe the current system can be unfair as it is a bit of a David and Goliath situation with everything stacked in favour of the authority rather than the individual. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has commissioned a report looking into the Compulsory Purchase Code and hopes that a simpler process encouraging dialogue rather than dispute will come forward.
I can be contacted at the Oswestry office of Davis Meade Property Consultants on 01691 676144 email Philipmeade@dmpcuk.com
Philip Meade of Davis Meade Property Consultants, Oswestry