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CHAPTER 7: TRANSPORT & TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (cont'd)

Cycling and Walking

7.80 The Plan seeks to provide a better and safer environment for personal mobility and to encourage the use of alternatives to the car. This applies in housing areas, at work, in town centre and recreational areas.

7.81 It is important that new development should provide for the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and people with restricted mobility such as those with a physical handicap, the elderly, people with pushchairs and wheelchairs. This will be especially important for community and entertainment uses, housing areas, shops, hotel, guest houses and other holiday accommodation, recreation facilities and working areas of offices and factories.

Access for Cyclists and Pedestrians

7.82 POLICY TR/13

The Borough Council will seek to develop its strategy for a network of pedestrian and cycle routes by direct funding and through development proposals in this Plan. The Borough Council will also seek to negotiate contributions to secure off site connections into and improvements to the wider networks of footways and cycle routes where this is practicable and directly related to development schemes. Planning permission will not be granted for development schemes that fail to comply with briefs designed to develop the strategy or to meet the standards for footway and cycle routes contained in Supplementary Planning Guidance.

Routes along which measures will be encouraged to make cycling safer and more attractive and which will be protected from development proposals likely to prejudice their use for cycling are shown on the Proposals Map.

The proposed routes for cycle measures are:

i) Woodbrook Way, Loughborough;

ii) Burleigh Way, Loughborough;

iii) Blackbrook Way, Loughborough;

iv) Grand Union Canal Towpath, Loughborough;

v) Charnwood Water, Loughborough;

vi) Epinal Way extension, Loughborough/Quorn;

vii) Shelthorpe Road, Loughborough;

viii) Warwick Way, Loughborough;

ix) A512 Ashby Road, between Shepshed and Loughborough;

x) Baxter Gate, Loughborough;

xi) Fairmeadow development to town centre via Park Road/Beacon Road, Loughborough;

xii) National Cycle Network Millennium Route via Shepshed Loughborough and the Soar Valley/Charnwood Forest;

xiii) Woodthorpe to Woodhouse;

xiv) Land north of Birstall with linkages to the established network;

xv) Syston to East Goscote along A607 corridor;

xvi) Castle Hill Country Park in Leicester to Anstey and Thurcaston and Charnwood Forest;

xvii) Alan Moss Road/Belton Road to railway station, Loughborough;

xviii) Kirkstone Drive to Ashby Road to Gorse Covert, Loughborough;

xix) Meadow Lane to town centre, Loughborough;

Other schemes may be identified within the plan period as additions and extensions to the network.

(See also in particular Policies H/1,H/2 & E/5)

7.83 The Plan promotes the development of a comprehensive Boroughwide network of footways serving local and long distance movements. This will be based on the existing rights of way network and complement the network of cycle routes. Where it is appropriate and practical the Borough Council will allow joint use of routes by cyclists and pedestrians, and also investigate measures to enable better access for people with disabilities. The Borough Council in co-operation with the County Council and other funding agencies will direct available funding to improve and extend direct and safe routes for pedestrian users across the plan area. These will be routed between places of residence, employment, shopping, leisure and cultural activity as part of local footway and greenway networks and longer distance routes. Such routes may be for shared use with other vulnerable road users where conflict is not expected to arise.

7.84 The network will aim to create safer and more attractive routes improving access to places of work, shopping, leisure and other facilities for pedestrians. Improvements could be in the form of pedestrianisation as in Loughborough Town Centre, the widening of pavements, providing better walking surfaces and signage.

7.85 The Borough Council has approved a pedestrian strategy for the Borough as a framework to implement measures. Provision for pedestrians will be a key component of the Local Transport Plans being prepared for Leicestershire and Central Leicestershire. Footway standards will be developed to complement the Borough Council’s existing cycleway standards.

7.86 The Borough Council will seek to safeguard, extend and improve cycle routes throughout the Borough. The aim will be to create a comprehensive cycle network. This will involve both on-road lanes and off-road routes. Some schemes will provide segregated provision for cyclists while in other locations cycleways will be shared with strategic pedestrian routes. The Epinal Way cycleway in Loughborough is an example of an effective dual use facility.

7.87 Provision will be focused on the likely areas of demand, usually on roads with high traffic volumes and at locations with poor cycling safety records. The main objective will be to link residential areas with education facilities, shopping centres, railway stations, and the main areas of employment, and to create strategic links into the countryside based wherever possible on green corridors. The Leicestershire and Central Leicestershire LTPs place an increased emphasis on cycling given the potential for this mode to provide an alternative to the car as part of a more sustainable transport policy.

7.88 The Borough Council in implementing its cycling strategy for Loughborough, will in co-operation with the County Council utilise available funding to develop a wider network of cycle routes based on the Epinal Way cycleway creating improved links within the town, and between the town and other settlements. Many short distance movements and recreational trips can be made by cycle if safe and pleasant conditions are available. To be most effective cycle routes should serve desire lines for cycle use, be attractive and inviting to would be users, and segregated from vehicular traffic movements.

7.89 The main emphasis will be in providing routes for commuter movements in Loughborough, the Borough’s main urban area where the greatest conflict between cyclist and other road-users exists. New cycle routes will need to provide safe, well-lit corridors. The main demand for new routes appear to be to serve cross-town movements between the housing areas, education facilities, employment areas, town centre and to and from the railway station. It will involve the use of routes on, or alongside existing roads as well as the use of parts of the current footpath network improved to the necessary standards. The standards for the construction of cycleways approved by the Borough Council are included in the Borough Council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance.

7.90 In March 1993 the County Council adopted a Countywide cycling strategy as part of the Transport choice Strategy, and is pursuing funding through the LTPs. The strategy emphasises the need for better facilities in Leicester and the County Towns. Investment will be directed to secure better cycling facilities and to promote a positive image for cycling. Improved provision for cyclists will be a key aim of the LTPs. Provision of cycle parking facilities is dealt with in Policy TR/18.

7.91 Implementation of this policy will involve discussions with the County Council, Parish and Town Representatives, landowners and cycle user groups to identify an overall network of cycle routes and other provision for cyclists consistent with the wider strategy for Leicestershire as a whole prepared by the County Council. The routes shown on the Proposals Map and listed in the policy are those along which measures will be encouraged to make cycling safer and more attractive.

7.92 Available public funding will be directed towards the implementation of new cycle routes, advisory routes, junction improvements and cycle parking with priority being given to the areas of greatest demand consistent with the strategy. Contributions will be required from developers where new provision for cyclists is reasonably and directly related to a proposed development while cycling will be promoted as a safe and attractive mode of transport.

7.93 The implementation of long distance routes which continue outside the plan area will require close liaison with other adjoining authorities and agencies. The Borough Council has supported the routing of the Inverness to Dover Millennium route through the Borough.

Safeguarding Disused Linear Routes for Transport Purposes

7.94 POLICY TR/14

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would prejudice the continuity of disused railway lines within the areas shown on the Proposals Map for re-use as footpaths, cycle routes, and bridleways.

7.95 The Borough contains a number of disused railway routes which have potential for re-use as transport corridors, most likely for the creation of new pedestrian or cycle routes. The route of the former Charnwood railway from Loughborough westward via Shepshed forms part of a potential longer distance route into adjoining North West Leicestershire District.

Public Rights of Way

7.96 POLICY TR/15

Planning permission will not be granted for development affecting an existing right of way (footpath or bridleway) unless:

i) there is no adverse effect on the existing route; or

ii) an alternative route can be provided which will not be substantially less convenient to the public nor substantially detract from the public’s enjoyment of the path or way, which is safe and which protects the continuity of the wider route.

7.97 The effect of development on public rights of way is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. It is important for planning applications to clearly show proposals to divert or re-route any affected rights of way and to demonstrate safe and equivalent provision is made in lieu of the existing route. Only if a route along the existing line is not feasible should a diversion or stopping up be considered. New routes should be segregated from estate roads and footways and routed through public open space if this can be secured in the design and layout of development.

7.98 In order to avoid administrative delays and to resolve potential objectives it is important for applicants to secure agreement with parties affected by any alternative route at the earliest opportunity in the formulation of development proposals.

7.99 When applying for planning permission applicants will need to give detailed consideration to the effect of development proposals on any rights of way at the earliest possible opportunity. Where development affects a right of way the procedures laid down in planning legislation for stopping up or diversion of the right of way must be followed before development can take place.

7.100 Applicants are advised to apply for a ‘Diversion Order’ at the same time as submitting a planning application if it is proposed to stop up or divert a public right of way. They will be expected to secure the agreement of any landowners affected beyond the area owned or controlled by the applicant. The Borough Council may make a Diversion Order under Section 257 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act when appropriate, after planning permission has been granted. Where objections to the Order are received it will be referred to the Secretary of State for the Environment for determination. Applicants will need to undertake to meet all costs of making an Order, including all legal costs, the cost of works required, and payment of any compensation due to landowners.

Improvements to Public Rights of Way

7.101 Many existing rights of way are in need of improvements and better co-ordination to create attractive networks. The Borough Council will seek to secure improvements to the right of way network to ensure better access to rural areas. Improvements sought will be:

  • better surfacing and drainage of paths;

  • way marking and interpretation;

  • creation or protection of wildlife habitats.

Improvements to this network should be linked to the re-use of disused linear routes (Policy TR/14) to provide a comprehensive and co-ordinated network linking settlements with the countryside and areas of interest. Scope exists to integrate routes with the bus network to provide ‘bus-out-walk-back’ trips, and similar initiatives.

Traffic Calming

7.102 POLICY TR/16

In the determination of planning applications the Borough Council will take into account the extent to which a development includes measures to reduce traffic speeds and assist in the creation of higher quality and safer living and working environments within, and in the vicinity, of the site, as well as the efficient movement of traffic. Traffic calming and management measures would need to address:

i) problems related to traffic congestion;

ii) reduction of unnecessary traffic in areas of housing, near schools and other areas of intensive public activity;

iii) creating safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians;

iv) access for buses, and other vehicles needing emergency access;

v) problems related to on and off-street parking.

The Borough and County Councils will continue to identify areas for the implementation of traffic calming and management measures to improve the safety, living and working conditions in areas experiencing significant traffic related problems.

7.103 Traffic management measures bring benefits to both vulnerable road users and the environment. The use of speed ramps, speed tables, narrowing of carriageways and other measures is beneficial in reducing traffic speeds where the safety and comfort of people is endangered in town and village centres, near schools and in residential areas. The emphasis will be on schemes covering areas rather than individual streets. Isolated measures on individual streets may simply divert traffic to adjacent roads. Traffic calming is as desirable in new development as well as it is within existing development.

7.104 The County Council has an assessment system for potential traffic management schemes. In Charnwood this applies to all areas outside Loughborough. A preliminary assessment is undertaken to identify the incidence of injury accidents over the previous three years where vehicle speed is a contributory factor. Where such accidents are present a scheme is subjected to a full priority assessment. In this assessment points are awarded for various aspects, namely:

i) accident record over the previous three years;

ii) average traffic speeds;

iii) average traffic flows

iv) frontage development and land use. The presence of shops, libraries, health centres, schools, community facilities attracts a higher score.

7.105 On the basis of these assessments the relative priority of traffic management schemes is identified for inclusion in the County Council’s capital programme. With regard to Charnwood, County Council traffic management schemes incorporating calming measures have been undertaken to date in the following locations:

  • Forest Street/Loughborough Road, Shepshed;

  • High Street/Leicester Road, Quorn;

  • Market Place/Leicester Road, Mountsorrel; and

  • Melton Road, Thurmaston.

7.106 In Loughborough the Borough Council has implemented a scheme in the Storer Road area to help reduce the ‘rat-running’ of traffic between two principal traffic routes (Ashby Road and Derby Road), through a primarily residential area containing a primary school and various community facilities. A further scheme at Thorpe Hill has increased safety on roads outside the town’s main concentration of schools.

7.107 Other schemes in Loughborough currently under consideration by the Borough Council for traffic management measures are listed below:

  • Albert Promenade area;

  • Bottleacre Lane;

  • Burder Street area;

  • Cumberland Road;

  • Old Ashby Road;

  • Radmoor Road;

  • Victoria Street area.

All schemes located in the plan area will be subject to full public consultation on their design and content.

The Impact of Traffic on Minor Rural Roads

7.108 POLICY TR/17

Planning permission will not be granted for development in locations where it would result in a significant change in the amount or type of traffic using rural roads or roads through villages, and:

i) the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders would be endangered; or

ii) roads are of unsuitable width, alignment or structural condition; or

iii) the increase in traffic and/or the improvements necessary to accommodate it would harm the rural character of the roads or residential areas alongside them.

Development generating lorry traffic will be located so as to discourage, as far as possible, traffic from using roads other than the Specified Road Network.

7.109 Traffic generated by development can have significant adverse environmental effects on minor rural roads in terms of noise vibration, visual impact, accidents and safety, pollution etc. It will be important to ensure that the impact of even modest new developments is minimised if the character of these roads is to be retained.

7.110 Of particular concern will be the impact of HGV traffic. The Borough Council will monitor the situation and support the County Council where it intends to discourage traffic, especially HGV’s from travelling on minor rural roads by the use of traffic management and other measures including signing, width and weight restrictions, parking restrictions and road closures.

Parking Provision in New Development

7.111 POLICY TR/18

Planning permission will not be granted for development unless off-street parking for vehicles, including cycles, and servicing arrangements are included to secure highway safety and minimise harm to visual and local amenities. The adopted standards included as Appendix 1 will be used as the starting point in assessing the level of provision and represent the maximum level.

In the Central areas of Loughborough and Shepshed, District Centres, primarily employment areas and other areas of significant trip generation the quantity of parking within new development will be determined through negotiation based on containing car parking provision. The quantity of parking allowed will reflect the proposed use and the location of development, the availability of public off-street parking; the current, or potential accessibility by non-car modes; the feasibility for commuted payments; the scope for practical measures to significantly reduce the use of private car trips to and from a site; and the need to reduce existing levels of private non-residential (PNR) car parking.

(See also in particular Policies TR/19, 20 and 21)

7.112 Car parking policies should support the overall locational policies in the development plan. PPG13 at paragraph 4.5 indicates that standards of provision in local plans should be set as a range of maximum and operational minimum standards for broad classes of development. Control of parking provision can have a significant impact on modal choice. Over the plan period the intention is to encourage a gradual reduction in car dependency in favour of a shift to bus, rail, walking and cycling. Restraint based parking provision correctly applied can help reduce congestion and improve the area’s attractiveness to investment.

7.113 The aim will be to secure a level of parking which as a minimum discourages reliance on the private car but provides sufficient off-street parking to allow development to proceed without creating traffic problems. If parking overspills on-street this can be detrimental to highway safety and the local environment because of the extra circulation and manoeuvring of vehicles.

7.114 In Central areas, District Centres, employment areas and other areas with significant trip generation lower levels of provision will be sought by negotiation. Reduced provision will be sought where, for example, the following circumstances prevail:

  • a site is served, or is capable of being served, by effective public transport services along with provision for the safe, and direct movement of cyclists and pedestrians;

  • existing public off-street parking close to the site can cater for the development;

  • local environmental factors of acknowledged importance are worthy of protection;

  • a residential development is of a design and nature which ensures that car ownership will remain at a low level, or even car-free, in the long term.

7.115 In all such cases the Borough Council may seek to negotiate a legal agreement with the developer to secure commuted payments in lieu of part or all of parking provision related to a development scheme. This would be used to fund alternative measures which would comprise an appropriate balance of:

  • off-street public car parking;

  • measures to improve access by public transport;

  • measures to improve access by cycle and on foot.

7.116 The effect of controls over parking associated with development will be less significant unless reductions can also be secured in the current levels of private non-residential parking (PNR) particularly in Central Areas. Where circumstances allow a reduction in PNR parking will be sought through development or redevelopment schemes.

7.117 In order to avoid on-street parking problems related to reduced levels of off-street street parking measures will need to be implemented to deter people from driving to and parking in the vicinity of a development. The submission of Travel Plans with applications would set out arrangements for reduced car-use from the outset of development. In addition the Borough Council will seek to negotiate contributions towards the implementation of on-street controls in the vicinity of a development where problems are anticipated. In less central sites contributions will be sought from developers to fund improvements to access for non-car modes and so upgrade that areas accessibility by public transport, walking and cycling.

Public Car Parking Provision Serving Loughborough Town Centre

7.118 POLICY TR/19

Planning permission will be granted for additional off-street public car parking facilities for shoppers and visitors serving the central area of Loughborough shown on the Proposals Map in circumstances where the Borough Council is satisfied the car parking is necessary to ensure a continuing and adequate supply of short-stay car parking.

In the case of car parks funded by development the Borough Council will seek to negotiate a legal agreement for the car park to be managed for short-stay users which does not generate significant peak hour traffic movements.

(See also in particular Policies TR/18, TR/20 and TR/21)

7.119 Additional short-term car parking will be needed in Loughborough town centre on a scale which both safeguards the centre’s vitality and viability and helps meet the Plan’s overall objective of gradually reducing car dependency. New parking will be needed to serve additional retail and commercial floorspace.

The Borough Council will identify the level of need for short-stay parking based on an assessment of:

  • the replacement of existing long and short-stay provision lost as a result of the implementation of pedestrianisation, redevelopment and other traffic management schemes;

  • an allowance for traffic growth associated with additions and improvements to the town centre;

  • any reduction resulting from the successful implementation of measures to increase the use of bus, rail, cycling and walking as alternatives to the car; and

  • any other relevant considerations.

7.120 A review of public car parking management pricing is being undertaken by the Borough Council complementary to the demand management measures included in the County Council’s Leicestershire Local Transport Plan Submission. This is based on the following principles:

  • charges for all-day parking in Council controlled car parks which are high relative to charges for short-stays;

  • short-stay spaces to be more accessible than long-stay spaces;

  • the implementation of complementary on-street parking restrictions to avoid problems transferring to other areas;

  • enforcement against uncontrolled and temporary car parking;

  • consideration of the role of park and ride in providing for parking needs for short-stay and, in particular, commuter trips.

7.121 This review will be followed by preparation of a ‘Parking Study’ to establish the scale and nature of parking provision in the town centre.

7.122 The approach adopted in this policy is complementary to the move to restraint based parking standards for new development set out in Policy TR/18.

7.123 The intention of this Plan’s transport policies is to reduce car-based commuting over time. Any modification of current management and pricing of parking controlled by the Borough Council could increase pressure for on-street parking in areas around the town centre. Residents parking schemes have been implemented in the Frederick street and Victoria Street areas. Other areas for similar traffic management measures will be identified to try and ensure that problems are not transferred from one area to another.

Public Car Parking Provision Serving District and Local Centres

7.124 POLICY TR/20

Planning permission will be granted for new public off-street parking serving District and Local Centres where the parking is short-term and necessary to safeguard the vitality and viability of district and local centres.

The scale of provision will depend upon the accessibility of a centre in terms of bus, rail, cycling and walking.

(See also in particular Policies TR/18, TR/19 and TR/21)

7.125 In 1993 after consultation with Parish Councils, ten parishes were recognised as being in need of additional general car parking. These were the parishes of Anstey, Barkby, Birstall, Hathern, Mountsorrel, Rothley, Sileby, Syston, Thurmaston and Woodhouse Eaves. This previous assessment should provide a starting point for the assessment of future parking needs. The emphasis must now be on containing new provision to that needed for short-stay shoppers and visitors.

7.126 An adequate supply of public off-street car parking for shoppers and visitors is necessary in district and local centres to enable people to use them, particularly where catchments are not well served, or capable of being served, by non-car modes. In addition the lack of sufficient parking could encourage people to drive to larger centres. The Borough Council will monitor levels of car parking in district and local centres and pursue initiatives to improve the quality, and where justified, the scale of parking serving centres. In coming to a view as to the appropriate level of provision consideration will be given to the accessibility of a centre by non-car modes.

Planning Criteria for the Design and Layout of New Car Parks

7.127 POLICY TR/21

Planning permission will be granted for matters of detail relating to car parking proposals where all the following criteria are met:

i) they are in locations convenient for the centre or feature they serve, and provide safe and direct access for pedestrians and people with disabilities to those destinations;

ii) traffic generation by the car park would not create unacceptable congestion and conflict between pedestrians and vehicles on roads close to the development;

iii) measures including signing and lighting are included to ensure easy access, internal circulation, safety and security for vehicles, bicycles and people using the car park;

iv) extra wide spaces are provided for people with disabilities and people with small children;

v) screening and landscaping is provided to safeguard the amenities of adjoining properties and land uses.

(See also in particular Policies TR/19, TR/20)

7.128 Many existing car parks have attracted problems because of their poor appearance, and levels of usage are depressed due to fears of injury to person and property. A well designed and maintained facility can provide a welcome feature in the streetscene with improved public confidence in security.

7.129 In assessing the details of proposals for car parks an important consideration will be for them to be conveniently placed for users and to provide safe and direct access to the intended destination. Car parks will not be allowed where the related traffic generation would lead to unacceptable congestion and circulating traffic movements detrimental to pedestrian safety or local amenities.

7.130 In Loughborough Town Centre surface parking although apparently preferred by motorists is not an efficient use of land and is expensive to provide unless associated with wider commercial development. Therefore if further significant parking is justified multi-storey facilities may be needed. Strong design good management, signing and routing will be essential if such facilities are to achieve maximum use and overcome public resistance to their use.

Park & Ride Site on land adjacent to the A46/A6 Junction, Wanlip

7.131 POLICY TR/22

Planning permission will be granted for a park and ride site located to the east of the A6, north of Birstall on land adjacent to the A46/A6 junction, Wanlip as shown on the Proposals Map. The facility will be accessed from the A6, and of a scale which is viable and effective to serve Leicester City Centre via the A6 bus corridor. Careful consideration will need to be given to the access arrangements, design and layout, landscaping and screening measures to ensure that the scheme harmonises with the character and appearance of the locality and adjoining land uses.

(See also in particular Policies E/5(g), TR/13, TR/23, TR/29, CA/10, CF/8)

7.132 The CALTRANS draft strategy envisages a transport strategy for the Central Leicestershire package area of public transport enhancement. Major improvements to bus and rail services, cycling and walking, are envisaged alongside measures to manage the car. Included in the draft strategy are proposals for bus priority measures on radial routes and the development of two bus-based park and ride sites, one on the A6 north of Leicester.

7.133 The proposed site in operational terms would be acceptable to the highway authorities and is considered to represent the best location to meet the CALTRANS objectives. The scheme could come forward as part of the comprehensive development proposals in this Plan for land north of Birstall and west of the A6. The site is well related to the main road network and well placed to utilise the frequent and regular bus services into Leicester. It would form an integral part of the sustainable transport strategy envisaged in the Plan and should help integral part of the sustainable transport strategy envisaged in the Plan and should help reduce congestion along the A6 corridor. Detailed design and layout, related measures will need to ensure the scheme is assimilated in the landscape and harmonises with adjacent land uses.

7.134 Although this site is considered to be the best location for a park and ride site along the A6 north of Birstall, the selection of an alternative site through the CALTRANS study could not be ruled out at this time. Should CALTRANS identify a better site serving the Central Leicestershire area from the A6 this allocated site would not be needed. It would then be treated as part of the country park related to the north of Birstall development, or agricultural land if this scheme does not proceed. Use of the site will need to be monitored to establish patterns of usage and to see whether action is needed to further reduce trips to the site which could have been made by bus and rail in the first place.

Planning Criteria for Park and Ride Schemes to Service Loughborough and Leicester

7.135 POLICY TR/23

Planning permission will be granted for bus or rail based ‘park and ride’ provision adjacent to the Loughborough and Leicester urban areas provided that all the following criteria are met:

i) the site is strategically well placed on the road network and served, or capable of being served, by frequent and direct public transport links to central area destinations;

ii) satisfactory access is provided to the main road network;

iii) the highest standards of design, layout, landscaping and screening are provided to assimilate the site and access arrangements with its surroundings. Landscaping measures will soften the impact by structural planting around the site and access roads and planting within the parking area;

iv) the scheme provides on-site facilities for security, information, shelters and “cycle and ride”.

7.136 The provision of car parks at strategic points on the main road network allied to frequent and regular public transport services is proving in many parts of the country a very useful measure to help alleviate congestion and delay on main roads into the urban areas.

7.137 Park and ride sites should provide car parking immediately adjacent to provision for public transport and cycling. They can help reduce the volume and movement of traffic along urban roads and in central areas and so enable more efficient use of road space to the advantage of non-car modes and improved urban environments. Their effectiveness will be enhanced if complementary bus priority measures are in place.

Loss of Parking and Garaging Areas

7.138 POLICY TR/24

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would result in the loss of parking or garage areas which are well-used in locations where demand exists for the facility, and where suitable alternative provision to cater for demand is not available elsewhere in the locality.

7.139 In older residential areas off-street car parking facilities are much in demand but usually limited in availability. The Plan seeks to achieve a gradual shift away from car dependency over the plan period. Whilst part of this approach may involve some reduction in car parking this should not happen where there is a clear need and the loss of parking and garaging areas could lead to excessive on-street parking and parking on verges.

Heavy Goods Vehicle Operations

7.140 POLICY TR/25

Proposals for new heavy goods vehicles operating centres and depots or proposals involving the additional development or extension of an existing site, which require planning permission, will not be permitted unless all the following criteria are met:

i) satisfactory access is provided to the road network;

ii) adequate space is provided within the operational site to enable vehicles to manoeuvre off the public highway;

iii) the road network serving the operational site is suitable for use by road freight traffic generated by the proposal;

iv) the proposal does not unacceptably harm the character or appearance of a locality;

v) the proposal does not unacceptably harm the amenities of residents in the locality of the operational site;

a) specific provision is made for the parking of heavy goods vehicles which form part of the applicant’s fleet of vehicles. Suitable provision will need to be found within the development site or, by agreement, on a nearby specified site.

7.141 Goods vehicle operating centres are licensed by the Traffic Commissioners. In cases where an operational centre is associated with, and subordinate to, the existing use of the site planning permission may not be required. The Borough Council will object to the issue of H.G.V operator’s licenses in circumstances where a proposed operating centre is considered unsuitable environmentally.

7.142 In those cases where permission is required for a new site, or additional development at an existing site, proposals will need to be acceptable in terms of highway safety and environmental impact. If necessary permission may be conditional on a limitation on the number of vehicles in order to contain the adverse impact of development to an acceptable level.

7.143 Sites are more likely to be acceptable if they are adjacent to routes suitable for road freight. Where existing sites cause particular planning problems or are remote from main routes they will be encouraged to relocate to more suitable sites. The proposed roadside facility site next to the A46/A6 junction at Wanlip (Policy TR/29) will provide limited lorry parking to serve passing traffic. Should a need emerge for additional provision an assessment would be made of possible sites.

7.144 Lorries are very intrusive when parked on-street particularly in residential areas. It will be important to ensure any operational site accommodates parking for all H.G.V’s related to it off street, preferably within the curtilage of the development site. Planning agreements may be appropriate to ensure provision of a separate site near to the proposal site.

Parking of Commercial Vehicles at Residential Properties

7.145 POLICY TR/26

Where planning permission is required for the parking of a commercial vehicle within the curtilage of a residential property such permission will not be granted unless:

i) the site is sufficiently large and/or suitably screened so as to avoid injury to the wider streetscene or neighbouring occupiers by reason of overdominance, visual intrusion, noise or vehicle exhaust emissions; and

ii) safe vehicular access can be provided.

Any planning permission for the parking of a commercial vehicle on a residential property will be:

a) made personal to the applicant and will not run with the land;

b) conditioned to preclude the maintenance or repair of the vehicle and storage of any goods or materials associated with the vehicle’s use;

c) initially be for a temporary period of 12 months, to enable the effect on the neighbourhood to be assessed.

7.146 The parking of large vehicles in residential areas can become a source of nuisance to residents, giving rise to problems of smell, noise, safety and obtrusiveness. The Local Planning Authority, in dealing with such matters will require the submission of planning applications for off highway parking of commercial vehicles where this would create significant environmental problems or other nuisance.

Provision of Servicing, Loading and Unloading Facilities in Non-Residential Developments

7.147 POLICY TR/27

In granting planning permission for non-residential development the Borough council will require full provision within the application site for the manoeuvring of service vehicles, loading and unloading unless servicing from the street or estate road network could be achieved without obstruction to the highway or injury to local amenities.

7.148 In all new development of a commercial nature it will be appropriate to secure provision for servicing off the existing highway to avoid obstruction contributing to congestion and delay. However in the change of use of existing premises it may not always be practical to provide for servicing within the site. In these circumstances the Borough Council will take into account in the determination of planning applications the nature and frequency of servicing operations. Where it is considered that such operations would occasion unacceptable obstruction or impinge upon the quality of the environment, particularly in residential areas, planning permission will be refused.

Loss of Servicing, Loading and Unloading Facilities

7.149 POLICY TR/28

Planning permission will not be granted for development which would occasion the loss of existing on site space for the manoeuvring of service vehicles, loading and unloading unless alternative provision sufficient to meet operational needs in full can be provided elsewhere off the highway.

7.150 Where commercial operations already have the benefit of adequate servicing arrangements within the site it will be undesirable to allow development which would force such activities onto the adjacent highway with resultant obstruction, congestion and delay.

Roadside Service Area on Land Adjacent to the A6/A46 Junction, Wanlip

7.151 POLICY TR/29

Planning permission will be granted for a key roadside facility site to service the needs of passing motorists on about 2.7ha (6.7a) of land located adjacent to the A46/AA6 junction at Fillingate, north of Birstall, as part of the proposed major development allocation. To be acceptable a proposal must meet all the following criteria:

i) it provides a full range of facilities for motorists for fuel, refreshment, toilets, car parking, limited parking for lorries, overnight accommodation and landscaped picnic areas;

ii) the siting and form of development in overall terms minimises the visual impact on the wider countryside, and adjoining development;

iii) vehicular access is via a new junction with the former A6 to be provided as part of the proposed development north of Birstall. Direct access from the A46 Bypass will not be permitted;

iv) substantial landscaping measures in the form of planting and mounding are provided along boundaries particularly the frontage with the former A6 and the A46, as well as the proposed distributor road, and the adjacent site proposed for a park and ride facility.

(See also in particular Policies E/5(g), TR/22, CA/10, CF/8)

7.152 The facilities available to trunk road travellers could be improved if a suitable site can be identified within the plan area. The greatest area of need exists along the A46 and A6 corridors. Additional provision is not considered acceptable along the M1 which runs through environmentally sensitive areas within Charnwood. The 3 mile section of motorway, including Junction 23, runs through the constrained areas of Charnwood Forest and the Loughborough/Shepshed Green Wedge.

7.153 Along the A6 and A46 corridors the most appropriate location in terms of traffic movements appears to be the new Fillingate junction where the two roads intersect. A facility here could service the needs of a significant number of travel movements on one strategically well-placed site. In environmental terms this is a sensitive location located on and around a prominent ridgeline.

7.154 A site is proposed for a roadside service area on the south west quadrant of the junction as part of a comprehensive development area proposed on land north of Birstall and west of the A6. The site is considered acceptable in environmental terms as part of this overall scheme. The package as presented aims to provide a high quality development with supporting infrastructure and amenities, the full implementation of which will depend upon the availability of funding from the various commercial components. The proposed roadside service area offers the opportunity to assist in the implementation of the overall package as conceived and presented. It will not be acceptable in isolation.

7.155 The proposal is to meet the needs of passing trunk road traffic, and not for facilities likely to attract more local use such as a public house, restaurant, or formalised lorry park. There would be no vehicular access direct from the A46 Bypass or slip roads to the Fillingate junction. Careful consideration will need to be given to the design and layout, location of buildings, signage and illumination to harmonise the development in the local landscape.

Planning Criteria to Assess Proposals for Roadside Service Areas

7.156 POLICY TR/30

Planning permission will not be granted for new roadside facilities unless all the following criteria are met:

i) there is an established need in terms of the spacing and location of facilities to justify additional provision;

ii) the proposed site would provide for a full range of facilities to serve the needs of motorists;

iii) the scheme is suitably landscaped to provide strong visual and acoustic screening;

iv) the development provides a design and layout, materials, mass and height of buildings and structures, illumination and signage in keeping with the character and appearance of the locality;

v) the site is not located in a designated Green Wedge and development would not be an unacceptable intrusion into an area of countryside, local separation, or recognised landscape value.

7.157 This general guidance sets out the range of criteria to be taken into account in considering proposals to provide roadside facilities in the plan area. The allocation at the Fillingate A46/A6 junction should provide a full range of facilities to serve needs on these trunk roads. A full range of facilities normally will embrace the inclusion within a single site of parking and rest areas for all motorists including the drivers of cars, buses and lorries, toilets, refreshments, refuelling facilities, overnight accommodation, picnic areas, telephones and 24 hour operation. Elsewhere the scale of provision will be restricted to that necessary to meet gaps in provision. Advice included in DoT Circular 4/88 and PPG13, Annex A recommends that the minimum gap between motorway service areas should be 15 miles and service facilities on trunk roads should be located a minimum of 12 miles and a maximum of 25 miles apart. In addition, the means of access to and egress from the site and the internal road network will be based on the standards of the Highway Authorities and subject to their approval.

7.158 The intention is to avoid a proliferation of sites providing limited facilities. Concentration of facilities at a small number of key sites will reduce the need for drivers to use different locations for various activities. Proposals will be assessed in terms of their environmental impact and within the context of current Government Guidance.

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