Somerford Gate: Notes from Meeting 26th November 2021

Meeting held Friday 26 November

Bellway – Paul Williams, Technical Director; Anthony Bradford, Engineering Manager; Matt, Engineering Assistant

Somerford Parish Council – Geoff Bell, Chairman. Apologies from Carlton Evans, Parish Clerk – unwell



  1. Parking on the service verge – problem seems to have been largely resolved with just occasional exceptions. Sign (No parking on verge) seems to help although no knowledge of origin. Currently the work on Blackfirs Lane is to connect the water supply to the site – it should be completed today (Friday 26 November).
  2. Existing hedgerow – Bellway again confirmed this will be replanted. I also mentioned the adjacent hedgerow along Somerford Lane which was replanted “ancient hedgerow”, but which seems to have failed at least in parts. They will look at supplemental planting of that hedge.
  3. Construction and Access to site – Bellway confirm that they are on track to start using the Somerford Lane access from January. Their long-term compound adjacent to that access is being constructed at present and the site cabins which have been temporarily moved to the corner of the site (junction Bf Lane and Somerford Lane) will be moved there for the rest of the build. They will encourage all deliveries etc.  to use CLR/Back Lane/Somerford Lane route. I raised mud on road, and they confirmed that they had contracted a street cleaning vehicle for one hour a day at present. The issue seems to have resolved itself and I think was exacerbated by muck deliveries by tractor and trailer to the field accessed from the track off the Chelford Road overbridge. Also mentioned parked lorries both early mornings awaiting access and then on non-driving time after leaving the site – I said we were particularly concerned with use of Bf Lane and Chelford Road. They acknowledged problem and would address.
  4. Surface water drainage gullies, Chelford Road – many of these are blocked and the pipes leading from them, across the road to the verge, are also blocked and may have been severely damaged. They have a CCTV record of this, but CEH do not seem interested. See 5 below.
  5. Surface water drainage pipe from site to Loachbrook – this will be a major undertaking and currently is planned to start on 17 January 2022 and will run for 14/16 weeks. It will come off the site adjacent to the swale, run north along Bf Lane to the new footpath crossing the verge to Chelford Road and then along the verge side of Chelford Road, under the road, to Loachbrook. The works will probably be done in 90/100 metre sections, manhole to manhole, and be controlled by traffic lights. They are using their regular contractor – Creaton.   There is no agreement with CEH to link the existing road gullies into the pipe (see 4 above) and they are expecting CEH to blame them if gullies do not work thereafter, hence their CCTV survey. They will re-instate Chelford Road as at present – and will photograph it first. I would hope that the badly eroded road edge will be improved but we need to lobby CEH to take some action to coordinate. They will leaflet properties affected to inform.
  6. Cycleway to Rhead’s Lane and drainage of Rhead’s Meadows – It has been agreed Bellway will arrange for us to meet to discuss these issues – probably in January 2022. They have not yet done the work they agreed with Gareth Jackson to ensure no surface water drains from their site onto his land at Firlands, although other work they have done on the site may have improved the situation. I mentioned the forecast for considerable rainfall for next 3 months. They will contact him.
  7. Ragwort – we will need to keep an eye on their progress on the site and that any fallow areas are weed treated.
  8. Working hours – I raised the issue of noise generative activity outside working hours – both early a.m. and late evening. For instance, they were still working at 7.20 p.m. on Thursday last (25th) under arc lights, digging a deep hole adjacent to Somerford Lane. They also regularly started work at 7-7.30 a.m. They were under the impression that the working hours were being adhered to and will investigate.
  9. Work of Blackfirs Lane – At the time of the meeting work was being concluded on BF Lane to connect a water supply to the site. The following week, 29 Nov- 1 Dec, work will be carried out to connect the site to the existing foul sewer which runs down Blackfirs Lane.

Agreed we would meet again in January on site to discuss item 6 above and any other issues which may arise.

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