by simongalton on 1 December, 2017
On 24th Nov Leicestershire County council’s Cabinet considered it formal response to the draft Harborough Local Plan. Below is the submission I made setting out the concerns about the traffic impacts of the proposed SDA at Scraptoft.
The proposed Strategic Development Area at Scraptoft relies heavily on improving and upgrading Keyham Lane West to serve as the principal means of access to the site. At this stage it has not been demonstrated that the traffic impacts of an SDA of 1,200 dwellings can be satisfactorily mitigated. Keyham Lane West falls entirely within the City of Leicester. Significant frontage development has taken place recently, traffic calming has been installed and a 20mph speed limit has been introduced along part of the route.
If Keyham Lane West cannot be widened and improved to fulfil the function of a primary access route, traffic will find alternative routes through residential areas in particular, the one way system through Scraptoft village.
In assessing the various locations put forward for SDAs in Harborough, highway consultants referred to the poor connectivity of the eastern side of Leicester to the north, west and south. Their report made the following comments: “The road network near a possible development is primarily single lane suburban roads which have a lower capacity. Development at this location could be hindered due to poor connectivity to the West of Leicester and the rest of the country. Many of the movements are occurring on residential or rural highways which may be a concern to the highways authority.”
Similar concerns were raised by the County Council in 2006 when it gave its advice to the then Regional Assembly on housing provision in Leicester and Leicestershire for the East Midlands Regional Plan. Officers commented that this area is remote from the national road network. The supporting evidence noted the lack of transport infrastructure was the main reason for discounting this location for a major SUE although it went on to say that the area “Could contribute a small SUE of 500 to 1000 dwellings however, a detailed transport assessment would be required to assess the capacity of and scope to implement mitigation measures required to accommodate this.”
Since then over 960 dwellings have been built or gained planning permission in the Scraptoft and Thurnby area without any mitigation/improvements to the local road network except a few speed cushions. The proposed SDA would bring the figure to over 2,000 dwellings, a situation which is of increasing concern to the local community.
The transport section of the report setting out the County Council’s response to the Harborough Local Plan contains little detail on how the community’s concerns about the traffic impacts of the SDA will be addressed going forward. By their own admission the consultant’s study referred to above is high level and only provides a strategic overview. I understand a detailed transport assessment will be required together with use of LLITM. I believe the comments made by the highway consultants should be of concern to the County Council as highways authority and seek assurance they will be addressed as part of the Local Plan process.
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