A10 access from business park at Littleport substandard agrees Planning Inspectorate as they refuse appeal for travel firm to build new workshop
PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 14 June 2019
Travel boss Peter Moden was told access onto the A10 to Saxon Business Park at Littleport is substandard which means he cannot build a workshop at his unit for mini bus maintenance.
East Cambridgeshire Council rejected his proposal on highway safety grounds and that decision has been confirmed on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
The inspector Chris Couper who dismissed the appeal accepted highway safety was the key issue.
He said the appeal site comprises primarily hard standing and an office building, and is located within the much larger park.
Mr Couper said that whilst there is a rear access from the park onto the narrow Woodfen Road, the principal access is from the A10.
The A10 in this location is unlit, wide and fairly straight, with good forward visibility, and is subject to a 60mph speed limit, he said.
"Whilst what I observed represents a snapshot in time, I have no reason to dispute the view of the local highway authority that this stretch of the A10 carries a high volume of traffic," he said.
"That traffic travels at a considerable speed and, given the nature of the highway, there is significant potential for overtaking manoeuvres."
"Signage on the carriageway and the verge prohibit right turns into the park when approaching along the A10 from the south. However, there are no clear
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restrictions for traffic emerging from the park on to the A10."
The inspector pointed out that a safety audit last year described the park's access as inadequate and substandard for the current usage, and that mitigation
measures are required.
"Given the characteristics of the A10, and the potential for slow moving commercial vehicles emerging from this 'T' junction to meet fast moving traffic on the A10, including when crossing over the southbound carriageway to turn right, I have no reason to disagree with that assessment," said Mr Couper.
He said Mr Moden had pointed out that the proposed workshop would provide a covered area to enable Lords Travel minibuses to be maintained on site, and thereby
avoid the need to take them to workshops elsewhere.
Mr Moden had said that the scheme would therefore result in a reduction in vehicular movements, and that in any event, his drivers adhere to a 'no right turn rule' exiting onto the A10.
Mr Couper said that whilst use of the proposed workshop solely for the maintenance of Lords Travel's current fleet of vehicles could result in a reduction in trips "I cannot be certain that that would be the case should the appeal be allowed.
"Additionally, I have not been presented with a mechanism by which right turn manoeuvres onto the A10 could be prevented; or by which the proposed workshop could be restricted to use by this business, if that were deemed appropriate.
"Without the latter, the proposed building on the appeal site could be used differently in the future, with possibly other implications for traffic generation."