NOVEL AP­PROACH TO AIR­PORT PLAN

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Alex Scapens

HIGH­WAYS bosses cre­at­ing a ma­jor new road have had to de­vise a novel way to get rid of a huge moun­tain of dirt.

The con­struc­tion of the Manch­ester Air­port re­lief road is set to cre­ate 340,000 tonnes of earth – far more than was orig­i­nally ex­pected.

With nowhere cur­rently for the soil to go, it was planned the sur­plus would be driven off site but the dis­posal for the un­ex­pected ma­te­rial would cost more than £3m.

So trans­port bosses are now plan­ning to land­scape the soil into a se­ries of hills – some more than 30ft high.

The three coun­cils who are jointly build­ing the by­pass, which will run from the A6 in Hazel Grove to the M56 via the ex­ist­ing A555 in Bramhall, say this will cre­ate an ● at­trac­tive grass­cov­ered road­side fea­ture.

The ex­ca­vated soil has cur­rently been de­posited into gi­ant mounds – known as bunds – close to the £300m road and even in­ter­wo­ven into its cen­tral reser­va­tion.

But as work has pro­gressed it has be­come ap­par­ent that a mas­sive amount of earth, on top of what was pre­dicted, will need to be re­moved.

So a plan has been put to­gether to cre­ate eight new bunds, as well as add to nine al­ready there, at an es­ti­mated cost of £1.1m.

A re­port by con­sul­tants AECOM says: “Some of the earth­work ma­te­rial cur­rently in place is un­suit­able for use in con­struct­ing the road and has led to a fur­ther sur­plus of earth­work ma­te­rial.

“In to­tal, 340,000 tonnes of sur­plus earth­works ma­te­rial re­main. Con­sid­er­a­tion has been given to how this sur­plus of ma­te­rial can be man­aged.

“Hav­ing iden­ti­fied the long list of po­ten­tial lo­ca­tions, a high-level en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment was un­der­taken in or­der to iden­tify en­vi­ron­men­tal con­straints and op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by each lo­ca­tion.”

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for two of the se­lected sites, both near Kitts Moss, Bramhall, has been sub­mit­ted to Stock­port coun­cil. It will be the first of 11.

Some of the ap­pli­ca­tions will seek to turn tem­po­rary large piles of soil into per­ma­nent ones.

Con­sid­er­a­tion had been given to dis­pos­ing of the earth off site but this was ruled out as it would cost £3.2m and re­quire 19,000 lorry jour­neys.

The bunds would be in the green­belt and are con­sid­ered ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment’. But it is ar­gued spe­cial cir­cum­stances ap­ply to over­ride this as per­mis­sion is fun­da­men­tal to the com­ple­tion of the by­pass.

Mounds of earth ex­ca­vated dur­ing the build­ing of the Manch­ester Air­port re­lief road will be turned into hills and, in­set, an artist’s im­pres­sion of the re­lief road

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