Monday, 14 June 2021

Access route to proposed new housing development is ‘unsafe’

ACCESS to a proposed development of four new homes in Watlington is “unsafe”, says the parish council.

Errol Facy wants to build a pair of two bedroom cottages and two four or five bedroom houses off Brook Street but the council is concerned about visibility for motorists entering and leaving.

Oxfordshire County Council will not object providing a number of conditions are imposed on any planning permission.

But Councillor Andrew McAuley, chairman of the parish council’s planning committee, told a full council meeting last week the access to the site was not safe.

The council would write to the county council asking it to review its highways assessment, he added.

In its formal objection to the application the parish council said: “Although the highways authority has not objected to the access, the parish council has severe reservations concerning safety to and from this site.

“In the applicant’s Highways Access and Transport Statement it is acknowledged that the visibility splays are below the standard suggested… for a 30mph speed limit ie 2.4 x 43 metres when measured to the nearside kerb-line.

“Brook Street cannot be designated as a residential street. It is a local distributor road as defined in the Residential Road Design Guide.

“In the statement it is claimed that it is not unusual for access roads in established residential areas, and particularly in conservation areas, not to meet modern road design standards.

“This may be true but does not justify repeating the same error. The fact that the established junction diagonally opposite the proposed access road at Davenport Place is below standard is irrelevant.

“It would be irresponsible to allow a second sub-standard junction on to Brook Street.”

A design and access statement from DP Architects, of Watlington, defended the plans. It said: “This access is certainly no worse than others existing on to Brook Street for which there is no record of serious accidents.

“The access would be improved as part of these proposals.”

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