Shared footpath and cycleway fails conditions tests

The development of a former scrapyard for 10 houses in Gloucestershire was allowed without the appellant having to comply with a condition requiring a new footpath and cycle link from the site to to a nearby junction 200 metres away as the inspector found no harm to highway safety or to the support of sustainable modes of transport through its removal.

The issue in the case was whether the original condition was necessary or reasonable. The current route between the appeal site and the existing public footpath comprised a tree-lined grass verge. However, the inspector felt this was unlikely to be reasonably used by future occupiers of the development for walking or cycling as it was narrow, uneven and alongside a busy road with a 60-mph speed limit. Additionally, the inspector considered there was no evidence that a shared footpath and cycleway was needed in the interests of highway safety as there had been no reports of any problems in the area and future occupiers could use the existing highway for cycling. In respect of complying with adopted policies to promote sustainable modes of transport, the inspector acknowledged that a dedicated footpath, particularly, would accord with policy aims. However, the inspector concluded such a requirement in this instance was unreasonable because the grass verge was not wide enough for a shared path/cycleway without third party agreement, which was not guaranteed. 

Inspector: M Aqbal; Written representations

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