Transport Team Steers Trunk Road Development to Success
The Traffic and Transport Group are celebrating after successfully assisting one of clients with a very difficult planning application. The applicant had applied for planning consent to convert a farm to a mixed use haulage, storage and industrial complex.
The site had a direct access onto the A47 Trunk Road and our client was dismayed when the Highway Agency issued a TR110 Holding Direction which effectively stopped the application from proceeding. The H.A. had recently completed a new by-pass scheme adjacent to the site were concerned that any access onto the Trunk Road would create safety and congestion problems. They advised our client that he would need to look at undertaking a major highway improvement scheme before they would remove their objection. The cost of the scheme, which would include a right-turn lane, would have made the whole development unviable.
We undertook detailed studies of the road network including accident analysis, speed surveys, traffic flow assessment and trip-rate predictions for the proposed development. We were able to demonstrate that the scale of the improvement works asked for were inappropriate and would not fit in with the character of the road. Our technical report showed that a right-turn lane would have a harmful impact on the environment and would not achieve significant benefits. The H.A. invited us to suggest alternative measures and we came up with a scheme to alter the road markings and to improve the site access. After due consideration the H.A. approved our alternative design and planning consent has now been given. The client can now develop the site as planned without the need for expensive carriageway improvements.
Our involvement demonstrates how our in-depth knowledge of the planning system can help clients to overcome major obstacles. The key to our success was to combine a common sense approach with expert understanding of the technical standards and an innovative approach to highway design. In this instance we were able to show the importance of applying design standards with proper regard to the individual site characteristics. Imaginative thinking and a practical approach helped to solve a major problem and save the scheme.
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