Pedestrian and cycling environment acceptable for London flats adjoining A4 and M4

172 residential units from a former office use was granted prior approval in a commercial area of south west London as permitted development with no significant adverse transport or highway impacts relating to the sustainability of the location, pedestrian and cycle environment and air quality, despite its location adjacent to the A4 and M4.

The council had raised concern about the transport and highway impacts of the proposal which affected a vacant 10,665 metres squared office building adjoining the A4 main road with the M4 motorway running above it. The inspector noted, firstly, that car parking provision would comprise 0.8 spaces per flat, which he considered was acceptable in relation to policies in the London and local plans and would result in a significant reduction in vehicle movements to and from the site overall compared to the office use.

The inspector noted secondly that the site’s entrance had a public transport accessibility rating of 3 with moderate connectivity to public transport services. The inspector felt the six lane A4 could be crossed by a toucan crossing and would not significantly deter pedestrians and there were sufficient cycle lanes in the vicinity to use, although he accepted it was some distance to shops and services and therefore not a highly sustainable location.

Whilst acknowledging that air quality could detract from the walking and cycling environment along the A4, potentially discouraging residents from using sustainable travel modes, the inspector noted thirdly that the pedestrian environment review system provided by the appellant scored the sustainable transport links as good to average and none as poor. The inspector supported this review since the council did not offer any evidence to the contrary. He concluded there was a range of sustainable transport options available so the scheme was not too dependent on car-based travel. He found no conflict with local, regional or national policies finding the residual cumulative transport impacts not severe.

Inspector: Richard S Jones; Written representations


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