Decision to block building of new housing scheme overturned

A site plan of the scheme - which will now be built

Planners at Harris Lamb have successfully appealed against a decision to reject proposals to build 40 new homes in Hinckley on the grounds of increased traffic.

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council rejected plans put forward by Central England Cooperative last August to develop 40 new homes and public open space on land off Workhouse Lane in Burbage, claiming that the proposed development would create “significant problems” to pedestrians and road users due to increased traffic levels.

However, following an appeal hearing and site visit held last month, the Planning Inspectorate has overturned the decision, stating that there was “little convincing evidence” to show that traffic levels and the claimed deficiencies in the configuration of the road currently cause a “significant highway or pedestrian safety problem”, ruling that the development should be allowed to go ahead.

Jonathan Edwards, the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to oversee the appeal, this week returned his decision, stating: “From the evidence and my observations, it would seem that Workhouse Lane and Britannia Road currently experience fairly low levels of traffic. The Leicestershire County Council highway officer accepts the appellant’s trip rate predictions of 24 additional two-way trips during the morning peak hour and 25 additional two-way trips in the evening peak hour. These figures indicate the development would generate only a modest increase in vehicular movements.

“Interested parties have raised other highway safety concerns, although none of these are supported by the LCC highways officer. The modest level of traffic generated by the proposal would be safely accommodated on local roads and without severe impact on the operation of the network. Also, any extra traffic would not unduly undermine the safety of pedestrians on Britannia Road, even though roadside pavements are not continuous along its entire length. No significant problems have been identified through the appellant’s transport assessment in respect of any nearby road junctions.”

He added: “Despite concerns, there is no sound reason to consider the assessment is inaccurate or flawed. Through the reserved matters process, sufficient parking can be secured within the development to avoid inappropriate parking on local streets. As such, the concerns raised do not show the proposal would prejudice highway safety.”

Simon Hawley of Harris Lamb’s planning consultancy, who prepared the appeal on behalf of Central England Cooperative with his colleague Josie Hobbs, said: “We are delighted that the Planning Inspectorate has reviewed Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s objections and overall decision and upheld our appeal.

“We strongly believe that the proposed homes will boost the supply of homes within the area, and that through the provision of affordable housing, there is a significant need for developments of this kind. We are pleased that other objections put forward by the authority regarding insufficient access to health and recycling facilities for new residents were also addressed and dismissed by the Inspector.”

Partial costs were also awarded against the Council.

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