Local knowledge fails to substantiate highway objection

An inspector sanctioned the retention of an agricultural track accessed off a bend in a main road outside a Worcestershire village, finding the council's opposition unjustified, and making a full award of costs to the appellant.

The track had been constructed without permission to provide access from a B classified highway to a woodland for forestry management purposes. Addressing the main issue of the effect on highway safety, the inspector found unjustified differences in the council’s stance when the application was assessed compared to its appeal statement. He found no evidence to support the council’s argument that visibility to the south would be inadequate, whereas a full assessment of the site and speed survey submitted by the appellant with the application had concluded that the access would be capable of accommodating agricultural vehicles and that the visibility splays in either direction would be acceptable. The council in their appeal statement also now claimed that the speed survey was only a snapshot in time and inadequate but the inspector disagreed, making reference to PPG advice that transport assessment parameters should be established as early in the development management process as possible. Following detailed analysis of road conditions, the inspector concluded the access would not cause any harm to highway safety and other road users and allowed the appeal, according little weight to third party comments concerning sale of the woodland to individuals.

Inspector: Ken Taylor; Written representations

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