As part of the Sylvan Heights development off Barley Lane, the developers – Taylor Wimpey – proposed off-site highway works in the form of a raised table safety measure along Barley Lane. The raised carriageway would extend across the width of Barley Lane from approximately 7 metres north of the proposed main site entrance to approximately 5 metres south of the entrance. It would also extend across the Barley Lane’s junction with Somerset Avenue and the main site entrance and for approximately 5 metres along these roads. At each of the points where the raised table meets the road, a 2 metres long ramp to gradually raise the carriageway to 50mm height is proposed. [Officer Report on Planning Application 08/1476/03 presented to ECC Planning Committee on 06/03/09].
What Taylor Wimpey actually delivered was a speed table with an imprint design in a ‘granite set’ pattern This is created with a ‘stamp’ that imprints a pattern into the surface to give it the appearance of a granite set construction.
No-one travelling along Barley Lane over recent months could have missed the utilities works being carried out by Wales and West Utiltities, where they were laying a gas pipe.
However, no-one travelling along Barley Lane now will be unaware of the state Wales & West have left the speed table.
I have been told by Devon County Council Highways officers over this who have informed us that under the New Roads & Street Works Act (NRSWA) 1991 “the utility company is required to match trench reinstatements with the existing surface’
The delay to reinstatement has arisen from the fact that the imprint design on this junction is unusual, if not unique. As imprint stamps have many varieties then it is important to get a like for like match, Wales & West have employed a contractor who will make up a stamp to recreate the imprint design as close as possible to the original. This will enable Wales & West to commission a matching reinstatement as required.
Wales & West have a 6 month period in accordance with NRSWA to make this reinstatement permanent.
Until this can be arranged the trench needed to be reinstated to open the road fully to traffic, the quickest and easiest material to put back now which can then be excavated easily again is the temporary bitmac reinstatement.