NARROW ACCESS ROAD TO PROPOSED HOUSING ESTATE UNSAFE AND DESIGNS FOR CYCLE PATH UNFIT FOR PURPOSE

Crewkerne Town Council have recommended refusal of a planning application for 42 dwellings at North Street Trading Estate on the grounds that the narrow access road is unsafe. Councillors also agreed that a cycle path shown on the amended plans was: “not really a cycle path and cyclists couldn’t ride on it.”

The planning application by Stonewater Ltd was first submitted in October 2015. Sine then several amended plans and designs for a footpath/cycle-path running behind Ashlands First School have come under discussion by the town council, South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council Highways Department.

Outline planning permission for the site, became extant on March 31st this year, during consideration of the full planning application and associated documents by SSDC. The application is still ‘pending consideration’ and planners could agree with an assessment of a ‘fall back’ position, if they decide in favour of the proposals.

Letters of objection have been recorded from residents living near to the proposed housing estate, voicing major concerns for the safety of pedestrians, school children and a significant increase in the volume of traffic coming out on to a busy main road from a narrow access road with poor visibility.

A County Highways Consultee has agreed that the cycle path on the revised design solution, submitted by the applicant’s agent to SSDC on March 31st, is not ideal given the width and alignment. With reference to concerns raised by parents on a ‘drop off point’ for school children, the Consultee has stated that the County Council’s policy for schools does not allow for drop-off or pick-up and that Ashlands First School should encourage the use of walking and cycling to school by means of a Travel Plan: “Which would aim to reduce the number of cars to the site for pupils and further reduce this risk of conflict.”

Objectors to the full planning application for the housing estate at North Street Trading Estate, say that the revised design solution is: “Poorly presented and poses more questions, than it answers.”

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