Transport planner not objecting to traffic danger

March 14, 2021 by David Sedgwick in forum Planning Forum

#971 David Sedgwick, 14 March 2021, 12:02

Hi All,

Please could you help us with our pickle?:

We live in an extremely tight cul-de-sac with a blind chicane. There is pavement parking and we all walk in the narrow road – near misses with traffic can happen coming around the blind chicane. It can be dangerous and several councillors agree with us.

There’s an old workshop at the end of the cul-de-sac that’s had 1 resident and vehicle arriving and parking there all day for more than 20 years. Adjacent is another industrial site. Now someone’s bought both of these and wants to build flats here.

At first they tried to get change of use by putting in a bid for 6 flats. They finally received an acceptance of change of use with 3 flats with a planning condition requiring on-site parking because the road is narrow and difficult to negotiate. The planning application didn’t say how many parking spaces should be provided. But no comment was made about the danger of increased traffic from the trebling of cars despite conceding the road is narrow and difficult to negotiate.

Now there is an application pending for 7 flats with 7 parking spaces using both industrial spaces. Given that this is two sites, can he apply for this under the one change of use or does he have to get change of use for the other area as well?

We can see the transport planner has responded with no objections against the extra traffic. They have accepted the 7 spaces in principle and have also put in the condition that cars must enter and exit the parking area in forward gear. I’m worried that despite most of the councillors thinking the road is narrow and that safety may be being put at risk, they will not overrule a transport planner.

Q1 The second application was put forward using the area of both sites but only one has change of use. Is this permissable?

Q2. The transport planner said the road was crowded enough to require onsite parking but doesn’t have a problem with increasing through-traffic seven fold (this will be fast through traffic to the end of the road, not stop traffic). Is this contradiction open to discussion at this point?

Q3. In the planning meeting the planning officer said the “three” parking spaces (he actually said the word three) have already been approved in the first application. However the planning condition in the first approval only said “parking should be provided” without saying how many spaces should be provided. Did the planning officer mislead the councillors by saying there hadn’t been a material change so they couldn't challenge the second application on parking? If so what can we do?

Q4. For the 7 flat application the transport planner didn’t object to the tight turning (even though it doesn’t actually appear to be possible to manoeuvre into the parking spaces if two cars are parked either side at the end of the road – as they are legally allowed to do). We’ve seen another application from the applicant that has swept path analysis without these two cars present so we suspect they were not included in the second application (assuming the swept path analysis was actually done). We’ve seen an email trail where the applicant said the design satisfies swept path analysis but they didn’t provide the drawing(!) – and the planning officer and transport planner didn’t request the drawing! Can we make a request to see this? How might this impact on the already granted permission?

I’m really puzzled – it seems we can complain to the ombudsman after the event for damages once the flats are built but not before?

Many thanks for any help or pointers.


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