Substandard access agreed despite pedestrian impact

Planning permission has been granted for five dwellings in Northamptonshire, an inspector being satisfied that the proposed access was not materially harmful to highway and pedestrian safety.

The high authority’s standards required a minimum width of 4.5 metres for the first 10 metres of the access to ensure that opposing vehicles could pass each other. However, the access was no more than 3.7 metres wide and the council claimed, in the event that vehicles arrived and departed at the same time, one would have to wait on the highway or on part of the footpath between the highway and site access.

Vehicles waiting on the footpath would not unduly obstruct pedestrian movement, the inspector decided, and any vehicle arriving at the site would be able to see one departing. Although the access was not ideal, given its limited width, planning permission had already been granted for three dwellings and with a similar arrangement. The addition of two further houses would not give rise to a severe impact on highway safety, she reasoned.

Inspector: Stephenie Hawkins; Written representations

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