Homes scheme turned down over ‘dangerous’ roads concern
A scheme to build almost 500 houses on fields at the northern edge of Hinckley has been blocked over fears nearby roads could become dangerous if it went ahead. The plans, submitted to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council by Richborough Estates and Mr and Mrs Adcock last year, would have seen up to 475 homes built on land off Normandy Way – the A47 perimeter road – and Stoke Road, which connects the town to the village of Stoke Golding.
Access for cars and pedestrians would have been on a new roundabout on Stoke Road, but planning officers say the developers have failed to show the scheme would provide ‘safe and suitable access’, adding it ‘could lead to dangers for highway users’. Local residents had criticised the access road to the site as ‘unsuitable’, with 13 objections being submitted about various concerns, including a potential increase in traffic, pressure on local schools and GP surgeries, pollution, noise and the loss of countryside.
The Leicestershire County Council Highways department has been working with the applicant on the plans, including assessing the impact on local roads through modelling methods. But the applicant lodged an appeal against the length of time the application was taking to be decided by the borough council, which meant the highways team was unable to complete the work before the council had to issue a decision. This led to the highways team recommending to the borough council that it be refused.
The refusal was decided by planning officers at the council, who said in their report: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that safe and suitable access for all users would be provided to the development and the proposal, if permitted, could consequently result in an unacceptable form of development and could lead to dangers for highway users.”
The report added: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that any significant impacts from the development on the transport network (in terms of capacity and congestion), or on highway safety, can be mitigated.”
However, in planning documents, the developers outline some measures to lessen the impact of the new homes on traffic, including staggering crossings for pedestrians as well as the provision of bus stops to encourage public transport. They also included a travel plan which aimed to reduce the number of private car journeys from the development.
Ahead of the application being submitted to the council, Barwell parish and former borough councillor, Russ Roberts warned: “With an additional (up to) 500 new dwellings it will or would add 1,250 additional car movements if it gets the green light.
The houses would have ranged from one- to four-beds, with up to 95 affordable homes. There would also have been land for a primary school, children’s play areas and public open space, including a community orchard.
In planning documents, the developers say the development would have been a ‘highly desirable place to live for the 21st century and beyond’, that that they hoped to provide ‘a development with a strong identity and distinct sense of place, while at the same time integrating with the existing community’.
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- ^ Hinckley (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Read the latest Leicestershire planning stories (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ planning (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Russ Roberts warned (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
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