Highways bosses raised concerns with housing bid for centre of Evesham - The Evesham Observer

Highways bosses raised concerns with housing bid for centre of Evesham

Evesham Editorial 6th Jan, 2017   0

COUNTY highways chiefs would have objected to a controversial application for 380 homes to be built in the centre of Evesham because of the sole access road, the Observer can reveal.

Concerns would have been raised by Worcestershire County Council over the orignal proposals submitted in 2015 by Hallam Land Management for land off Boat Lane.

The application has been endlessly delayed since it was submitted and the Observer reported in December how Hallam had submitted revised plans for 220 homes and 60 extra care homes.

The county’s stance came to light in letters between Worcestershire County Council and planning chiefs at Wychavon District Council, sourced following a Freedom of Information (FOI) by leading Vale green group, Keep Evesham Green.

The original application set out plans for vehicles to access the housing estate via a junction from Abbey Lane only, with no second access road or emergency services link provided.

After the passing of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) in February of last year, Hallam then resubmitted the revised plans.

However, the fresh application still only proposes the same access into the development, with no second access road for vehicles, but the new plans do include an access link for emergency services.

In a letter to Wychavon planning officer Emma Worley, county highways officer David Pilcher said: “The County Council would resist this level of development from a single point of access; unfortunately, I can’t see any mention in the application description of a second access or emergency link.

“The two-way Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) on Abbey Road exceeds 12,500 vehicles. Therefore a ghost island should be the preferred form of junction.

“A simple T junction should only be considered if the site access road flow does not exceed 300 AADT. This access arrangement is therefore unsatisfactory.”

In Hallam’s planning statement as part of their fresh application, they said: “A Transport Assessment has been submitted as part of the Environmental Statement which sits alongside this submission. It sets out the transport issues and how these are addressed.

“It demonstrates that the proposals are consistent with the principles of sustainable development and with transport objectives. It concludes that based on extensive evidence and surveys, that the application proposals will not have a significant impact on the local road network.”

David Ashley, from Keep Evesham Green, who submitted the FoI, said: “KEG welcomes the County’s resistance to the old application as the site should have more than one entrance and believes that the same condition applies to the latest application.

“We also agree that if there has to be a development then there needs to be a right turn lane added, but I don’t think Abbey Road would be wide enough in front of the old police station to safely accommodate one.

“It’s also very disappointing that it took an FOI request to get this information,” he added.

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