The planning application to site a concrete batching plant on Waterside Way, right alongside the Wandle Trail public footpath, makes the argument that traffic to the site will reduce, despite it being serviced by 86 HGV and 10 car movements per day, according to the applicant.

It also argues that noise caused by a concrete batching plant will be ‘negligible’.

Any regular user of this footpath will know how quiet it currently is on an ongoing basis, at any time of day. Traffic movements are rare. The main sounds you hear are of nature, with the occasional train going past on the quiet Thameslink track.

Check out this morning video for a typical soundscape of this natural haven:

Quiet, huh? Now we read the ‘expert noise assessment‘ of this same spot, which concludes that increased noise at a working concrete batching site on this exact spot will be ‘negligible’, despite operations as follows (taken word for word from the document on Merton’s planning portal):

• Aggregate will be delivered to the site by road and tipped into the ground level aggregate
receiving/feed bins.
• Aggregate will then be transferred by covered conveyor to the overhead aggregate storage bins.
• There will also be ground aggregate storage bays for any aggregate overflow.
• Cement will be delivered by road to the site by cement tanker and discharged by a sealed pipe system
under pressure into the cement silos.
• Cement will be transferred from the cement silos into the batching plant by sealed pipes.
• The mixing and loading of concrete is computer controlled and undertaken within the integral batching
plant batching office.
• Aggregate, cement and water are mixed within the plant mixer and then discharged into the waiting
truck mixer within the mixer loading point beneath the batching plant.

The noise assessment assumes that ‘during a peak hour during the day there would be 4 complete events including:
4 concrete mixer trucks: arriving, being loaded and leaving site; 4 HGV deliveries and vehicles leaving
site (overstated) and 4 fillings of the hopper by front end loader.’

Does anyone SERIOUSLY believe that this level of operations will have little or no impact on noise levels on our local quietway?

We suggest that every member of the Merton Council planning team involved in processing this application, and every member of the planning applications committee preparing to consider it, takes a trip down the Wandle Trail to hear for themselves just how peaceful it currently is in this wildlife haven just a stone’s throw from busy, polluted Haydons Road and Plough Lane.

Then let us know whether you think a concrete batching plant serviced as detailed above will have a detrimental impact on our gem of a footpath.