Development thwarted by narrow access? Try this.

Anyone who has had their hopes of achieving planning permission frustrated only due to fears about traffic safety along a narrow access is likely to be interested in a solution put forward in a Worcestershire appeal against the refusal of the conversion of a pub to seven flats and a dwelling (DCS Number 400-012-093).

The access to the pub car park was through a narrow archway. An earlier appeal (DCS Number 100-058-344) had been dismissed, that inspector concluding that the use of the access for the residential scheme would give rise to the significant possibility of cars leaving the site meeting those that were entering, resulting in vehicles having to reverse onto the road or wait on the road while a car emerged. This would jeopardise highway safety to an unacceptable degree, he decided.

The appellants at the later appeal proposed a system based on an electronic bollard and gates whose operation would be synchronized to ensure that vehicles would not meet along the short length of the access. The inspector was satisfied that if the system operated as designed it would ensure that cars would not meet along the access, and there would therefore be no need for vehicles to reverse onto the highway. He acknowledged that, although the gates would be left open for most of the time, their closure would prevent vehicles entering the site from the road. However, he reasoned that such a coincidence was unlikely to occur regularly, and even if it did, whilst a car waiting for a short time on the road for the gates to open might cause very periodical localised congestion, it would be unlikely to endanger highway safety.

Always worth a try.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 8.1333

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