Accidents will happen

Or will they?

In determining an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the conversion of a cartshed at a farm in Nottinghamshire to four holiday lets an inspector took a balanced view on the likelihood of an accident happening at the access (DCS Number 400-036-335).

The inspector acknowledged that while there were no records of accidents in the immediate vicinity of the site, the access provided limited visibility. The site was also close to a route which was fairly well-trafficked due to its proximity to the A60. The inspector considered that while improvements to the access were proposed, due to the limitations of what improvements could be provided, there would still be a detrimental effect on highway safety due to a substandard access. He concluded that the proposal would have an unacceptable effect on highway safety by way of the proposed access arrangements.

Nonetheless, the inspector noted that the cartshed was a curtilage listed structure as it was formerly associated with the grade II listed farmhouse. He observed that it was unused and that there were marked signs of disrepair, in particular to the roof and the external openings, as well as a partial collapse of one element. Despite this he found that it retained its overall pleasing appearance and historical significance as a traditional agricultural building that formed part of the grouping of buildings that made up the former farmstead. 

The inspector reasoned that the proposal would have the benefit of putting the building to a viable use consistent with its conservation and would enhance the significance of the heritage asset. It would achieve this by utilising the building for holiday accommodation use and so the asset could be sustained in the future. 

In the balancing exercise the inspector held that the likely harmful effect on highway safety attracted moderate weight because it was tempered by the improvements and the likely traffic generation. Set against this harm was that the proposal would bring a designated heritage asset back into use and in a manner which was consistent with its conservation. This attracted significant weight in favour of the proposal. Accordingly, he concluded that the harm that would arise as regards highway safety would be outweighed by bringing a designated heritage asset back into use.

Section 4.1515 of DCP Online concerns safeguarding of traffic safety at accesses.