Single track roads not suitable for even modest HGV movements

Road safety concerns arising from heavy goods vehicle movements have led to refusal of retrospective permission for extraction of soil and stone at a site in rural Aberdeenshire.

The appellant sought to regularise the existing extraction operation and allow for further extraction of 2,000 tonnes of material over five years, after which the site would be restored. Finding that the modest scale of the operation would have no bearing on the wider landbank situation in the county, the reporter held that there would be no conflict with adopted local plan policy regarding the principle of extraction at the site.

The main issue was whether the local network of unclassified single-track roads with a limited number of passing places was suitable to accommodate the number and type of additional vehicular movements arising from extraction of materials in the location proposed. The appellants indicated that on average only two HGV movements each way per month would occur.

Having inspected the roads, the reporter decided that that it would be challenging for any vehicle to get past an HGV, resulting in dangerous reversing along significant lengths to the detriment of other road users. He also sympathised with concerns raised in representations over the safety of cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians on this section of the network, which had narrow verges.

He did not feel that a suspensive condition requiring passing places to be provided would be appropriate or sufficient to overcome his concerns. He did not feel that the only economic benefit from the scheme claimed by the appellant - a cost saving to his own housebuilding operations – equated to a wider net economic benefit. However, he dismissed the appeal on highway safety grounds alone.

Reporter: Christopher Warren; Written representations


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