Railway cutting landfilled for housing acceptable

The infilling of a former railway cutting in greater Manchester to facilitate the erection of up to 42 dwellings was acceptable despite the local authority raising concerns about noise from lorries delivering fill material to the site.

It was estimated that filling the cutting to provide a level surface would take approximately 12 months and the council estimated that 48 two-way lorry movements per day would be required. This, it claimed, would give rise to undue noise and disturbance to local residents. But an inspector preferred a lower estimate of 36 two-way movements equating to approximately three per hour. A noise and vibration survey indicated that acoustic fencing would provide adequate mitigation, and the council had not challenged the technical analysis.

The development would not involve land which was contaminated since a former landfill site lay outside the development area. A report by the appellants also confirmed that there was a low risk of any contamination migrating through the soils. Nor would traffic generated by the scheme give any cause for concern in terms of air quality. The appeal was allowed with a full award of costs to the appellants. Planning officers had recommended approval and no technical evidence to undermine the appellants’ reports had been provided.

Inspector: John Dowsett; Written representations

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