Local Highways Authority withdraws its objection

The Local Highways Authority have submitted a contradictory response to WSCC planning. On one hand they withdraw their objection based on legal advice, but in the same breath they state that they still have concerns regarding the suitability of the road to accommodate HGV traffic.

Surely the road is either suitable or it isn't? If WSCC have concerns about the suitability of the road, then how can they support the proposal?

This is the summary of the latest response submitted yesterday;

Summary

In its capacity as the Local Highway Authority (LHA), West Sussex County Council (WSCC) raised an objection to the proposed upgrade of an existing anaerobic digester facility at Crouchland Farm on the 23rd October 2014 on the grounds that the vehicular route from the site to the B2133 was not suitable to accommodate the intensification in HGV traffic associated with the proposed development. 
Subsequent to the objection the Applicant has submitted additional information through Technical Note C14093 (TN) and various plans and swept path analysis relating to a scheme of passing places along Foxbridge Lane. 
As a consequence of legal opinion provided by WSCC Solicitors and independent Counsel on the extant planning permissions of the site, the LHA withdraws its objection to the proposed development subject to conditions and a Section 106 Agreement.

 
Legal Position

It is understood that the WSCC Case Officer has sought legal advice from WSCC Solicitors and independent Counsel to establish the legal position on existing consented activity. It was concluded that the existing planning permission issued by Chichester District Council, under which the AD facility has been operating, did not impose restrictions on the importation of materials, on associated vehicle movements nor the use of equipment to ‘on-farm’ waste; there is no enforceable limit to vehicular movements that could be generated by the site under the extant planning permissions.   
The site can generate the level of vehicular movement that it currently does, or greater, without the need to obtain further planning consent.

Therefore, while the LHA still have concerns regarding the suitability of the road to accommodate HGV traffic, the legal advice is noted and the LHA withdraws its objection to the scheme. It is recommended that, should permission be granted, restrictions are imposed on the number of vehicular movements based on the proposed operations and implement mitigation to limit the impacts of HGV movement. 


Site Access

Commentary on the site access proposals was provided in the response of the 23rd October 2014. It is concluded that the alterations to the site access would make it suitable to facilitate the proposed operation. It is recommended that the site access is subject to a planning condition. The Applicant would need to enter into a Section 278 Agreement with WSCC prior to any works commencing on the highway. 


Routing

The Applicant has identified that a route via Rickmans Lane, Foxbridge Lane and Plaistow Road and the B2133 to its junction as the A272 (which forms part of the WSCC Lorry Route Network as a ‘Local Lorry Route’) to be used as the HGV route to and from the site and set out that they are willing to enter into a HGV Management Plan (HGVMP) to that effect. It is recommended that the HGVMP is secured as part of a Section 106 Agreement and should cover matters relating to routing, monitoring, reporting and enforcement. 
The Applicant has proposed a scheme of widening along Foxbridge Lane in order to improve passing opportunity and provide sufficient width for two HGVs to pass one another. The Applicant proposes to manage their operating fleet so that the requirement for two HGVs to pass is infrequent; however, the widening will provide the opportunity for Crouchland vehicles to pass other vehicles unrelated to the Crouchland Farm operations. 
The scheme of widening identified by the Applicant is demonstrated to be within the confines of the highway boundary for which the boundary data was obtained from WSCC. It is noted that several representations have been made regarding ownership and further clarity is being sought from WSCC Legal Department regarding the extent of the boundary to ensure that the work can be undertaken as identified. However, in-principle, the LHA consider the proposed widening to be acceptable subject to a detailed design that should be progressed through a S278 Agreement. The scheme of widening should be secured via a S106 Agreement. 
In addition, the Applicant has indicated that they will undertake repairs to the road surface. It is recommended that the resurfacing/reconstruction works are incorporated into the S278 and the extent of the repair locations are agreed through a ‘Condition Survey’ undertaken with a representative of the WSCC Asset Management Team. Particular attention should be paid to those areas identified within the LHA response of the 23rd October including the junction of Foxbridge Lane and Rickmans Lane and the junction of Plaistow Road and Foxbridge Lane


Conditions

Access  No development shall commence until the vehicular access serving the development has been constructed in accordance with the approved planning drawing. Reason:  In the interests of road safety.

Visibility  No part of the development shall be first occupied until visibility splays of 2.4 metres by 43 metres have been provided at the proposed site vehicular access onto Rickmans Lane in accordance with the approved planning drawings.  Once provided the splays shall thereafter be maintained and kept free of all obstructions over a height of 0.6 metre above adjoining carriageway level or as otherwise agreed. Reason:  In the interests of road safety. 
 

Inclusion of appropriate maximum AD throughput limits as determined by the Case Officer.

 
S106
A scheme of passing places as shown indicatively on drawing 14093/SKT01, 02 and 03 Rev A Heavy Goods Vehicle Management Plan Routing Agreement 

Dominic Smith Strategic Planning