Brasted and Sundridge: implications of the Covers Farm infill

Air quality: worsening pollution in an existing hotspot

The A25 running through Brasted and Sundridge is a DEFRA Air Quality Monitoring Area for NO2 (see map above). The 100 additional lorry movements each day will worsen this air pollution. A particular hotspot is the Brasted chicane next to the Chart Lane/A25 junction. Here annual average NO2 concentrations persistently exceed the Air Quality Strategy objective, as you can see in this table:

Monitoring point
DT 85-Chart Lane Brasted48.351.143.943.7
Air Quality Strategy Objective                  40
Sevenoaks District Council 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR)  Nitrogen Dioxide monitoring results for Brasted Chart Lane/A25 junction   Annual average NO2 concentrations in μgm per m3

Noise and vibration and Residential Amenity

Up to 100 eight-wheeler tipper trucks to-ing and fro-ing each day where residential properties lie close to the highway. Close to the Almshouses in Brasted, dwellings are 1.4 metres from the carriageway. Over the 5+ years of these trucks hauling waste this will mean more disturbance, and in some instances more damage to residential property.

Damage to Heritage Assets

The Covers Farm lorries would pass through Brasted’s and Sundridge’s Conservation Area. Please see details of the Listed Buildings below.

Traffic Generation and Road Safety

The application would allow 100 additional eight-wheeler trucks through Brated and Sundridge each weekday and on Saturday mornings. There is significant on-street parking in both Brasted and Sundridge.

The bollards in the Rectory Lane area of Brasted prevent off-street parking, with the result that any vehicle stopping for a drop off or a delivery results in a traffic hold-up.

There is significant on-street parking in both Brasted and Sundridge.

At the Almshouses in Brasted the carriageway is particularly narrow. Between the parking bays and the pavement opposite the road is merely 5.3 metres wide. The required width to allow two rigid vehicles to pass one another is actually 5.5 metres. Two eight-wheelers would not be able to pass one another at this point without mounting the pavement. There are already accounts of pedestrians being clipped by wing mirrors of passing lorries. A standard lorry, including its wing mirrors, is 3 metres wide.

The Government guidance on planning decisions, the National Planning Policy Framework (revised 2021) says in Paragraph 111:

‘Development should only be prevented or refused if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative effect on the road network would be severe.

The Covers Farm application has rejected the possibility of routing the trucks in from the west, via Junction 6 of the M25. The applicant has chosen a contractor that will supply waste from south and south-east London, so residents of north Westerham, Biggin Hill, Brasted and Sundridge are expected to endure the high volume of tipper trucks as a result of this choice. With a different choice of sources THE LORRIES COULD HAVE COME FROM THE WEST to the existing quarry entrance on the A25.

HGVs present higher risk of fatalities

In 2017 the Better Transport campaign group conducted a survey of fatality rates involving large lorries as compared to accidents involving other vehicles. You can read their findings here

Data shows that pedal cyclists are more susceptible to having serious or fatal accidents involving lorries, even though such accidents are rarer than lorry-car accidents. The A25 through Brasted and Sundridge is a popular route for pedal cyclists. reports eight accidents resulting in injured pedal cyclists in the last ten years.

Pedestrians are a similarly vulnerable group and the same proportionality applies in terms of serious or fatal accidents involving lorries. reports six accidents in Brated and Sundridge resulting in injured pedestrians in the last ten years.

Sevenoaks objected to Covers infill

Sevenoaks District Council objected to the application on the grounds of worsened air quality and loss of residential amenity for Brasted and Sundridge residents living close to the A25. To read the objection, please click below. SDC_21_00239_KCCRG3-OBJECTION_-_KCC-2581644DOWNLOAD

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