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THE CHILTERN RAILWAYS _BICESTER TO OXFORD IMPROVEMENTS_ ORDER 20I

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THE CHILTERN RAILWAYS _BICESTER TO OXFORD IMPROVEMENTS_ ORDER 20I Powered By Docstoc
					THE CHILTERN RAILWAYS (BICESTER TO OXFORD IMPROVEMENTS) ORDER
                      20I[X)- ("THE ORDER")

                       PUBLIC INQUIRY




                  PROOF OF EVIDENCE




                             OF




                   ALISTAIR STUART BUCKLEY




                DOCUMENT REFERENCE - OBJ/245/1
t     SECTION t - Introduction


1.1   My name is Alistair Stuart Buckley.


1.2   I am the owner of the property at 42 Whimbrel Close, Bieester and have occupied it
      continuously since September 1998.


1.3   I am writing this proof of evidence with regards to the Order submitted 'y Chiltern
      Railways, for improvements to the Bicester to Oxford railway (known as the
      Evergreen 3 project).    I do not object to the Order in principle but I am very
      concerned that without proper mitigation the Order and the scheme it prc'ffiotes will
      significantly affect my property.


2     My evidence


2.1   My property backs onto the proposed double tracking chord line betw"n Tubbs
      Crossing and Gavray Drive approximately 20 meters from the track way ccnterline. I
      am deeply concerned that if permission is granted for this work it will result in a
      number of detrimental effects to my property.


2.2   The main living areas of my property are the living room, conservatory and main
      bedroom and each of these are in the back half of my property and arc therefore
      directly affected by the proposed Order and the proposals contained within it.


2.3   Currently the existing single track line is used for freight only and the number of
      trains is very infrequent being an average of 2-3 trains per day.       The proposed
      significant increase to rail traffic will see this rise to 4 passenger trains per hour
      (possibly less in the late evenings and on Sunday mornings but this is by no means
      guaranteed) plus the existing freight trains. Additionally, if the East Wesl Railway
      scheme also goes ahead this could potentially result in up to 12 trains per hour. This,
      coupled with the noise and vibration both during and after construcdoTI, will
      massively and adversely impact both my use and quiet enjoyment of the property.
2.4   The conservatory will be closest to the railway line, and is of basic construction
      (providing very limited noise insulation) so will be more exposed to the effects of
      increased noise and vibration levels. It is frequently used, especially during the
      summer, when it is imperative to have the doors open to maintain a pleasant ambient
      temperature.


2.5   In addition, for the same reasons, it is also necessary to frequently open the bedroom
      windows for ventilation especially during hot weather to ensure comfortable sleeping
      conditions. I am deeply concerned that the noise generated by the scheme will result
      in this no longer being an option for me since the late running times of the trains
      would cause continuous sleep disturbance.


2.6   There is currently a large tree beside the track at the rear of my garden which provides
      some degree of privacy in relation to the current single track. I have concerns that
      this may need to be removed to implement the Order and also that even if the
      proposed noise barriers are installed this privacy would be lost. I do not believe that
      the proposed height of these barriers will be sufficient to prevent train passengers
      from being able to see clearly into my main bedroom (especially should the train stop
      for any length of time), significantly impacting on my privacy and enjoyment of my
      propel1y.


2.7   If the Order is approved and a full passenger service commences, it would hugely
      affected the desirability and value of the property, as well as the likelihood of my
      being able to sell. I received independent advice that the reduction in value could be
      in the region of30%.


2.8   I also believe that once the infrastructure is available there is a high possibility that
      the number and frequency of trains could be increased (either if the East West
      Railway scheme referred to earlier goes ahead or Chiltern Railways increases train
      frequency on the line as a result of the success of its project), impacting on my quiet
      enjoyment of my property and its value further.




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3         My proposals


3.1       I understand the overall importance of the Order to Chiltern Railways, ':he Bieester
          area, and the countly as a whole, so am willing to engage in meaningful dialogue with
          Chiltern Railways, with a view to reaching a satisfactol)' agreement with them that
          meets my concerns. The concessions 1 am seeking are as follows.


                       3. I.l      The construction of a noise banier of suitable hei,.ht and
                                   length between the rail way and the property prior to the
                                   commencement of work;


                       3.1.2       The installation of an appropriate acoustie glazin., system to
                                   include suitable ventilation to the main bedroom window
                                   and conservatory before work commences.

                       3.1.3       Chiltern Railways undertake to leave the large tree and other
                                   vegetation which is trackside at the rear of the hot se in
                                   place. Additionally, further trees [0 be planted between the
                                   railway and the property to help aid privacy and IT inimize
                                   the visual impact of the scheme.

                       3.1.4       To further mitigate the loss of privacy, Chiltern R"ilways to
                                   undertake reasonable costs of installing blinds in the
                                   conservatory.


4         Conclusinn and submissinns


    4.1     In summary, if the proposed Order is granted it will result in material loss in terms
            of the value and desirability of my property, adverse loss of privacy impacting on
            my enjoyment of the property and an uoacceptable increase in noise levels and rail
            traffic.


    4.2     Additionally, I understand that any statutory compensation to which I am~ntitled is
            not assessed until the line has been operational for a period of I year.            Since
            construction is quoted as taking 3 years it will make it very hard for me to sell my


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      property and move within this period due to the uncertain nature of the
      compensation for any prospective purchaser, meaning that J will be forced to stay
      in the property for a minimum of 4 years,


4,3   It is my strong belief that the Order in its current form should not be permitted
      unless and until my concerns have been adequately met.




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