Policy TR1 Access to Public Roads

A development proposal involving direct access, or the intensification of the use of an existing access, onto a public road will only be permitted where both of the following criteria are met:

  1. such access will not prejudice road safety or significantly inconvenience the flow of road users; and
  2. the proposal does not conflict with Policy TR2 Access to Protected Routes.

The acceptability of access arrangements, including the number of access points onto the public road, will be assessed against current DfI published guidance33. Consideration will also be given to the following factors:

  • the nature and scale of the development;
  • the character of existing development;
  • the contribution of the proposal to the creation of a quality environment, including the potential for urban/village regeneration and environmental improvement;
  • the location and number of existing accesses; and
  • the standard of the existing road network together with the speed and volume of traffic using the adjacent public road and any expected increase.

Justification and Amplification

New development will most often require vehicular access34on to the public road, either in the form of a new access or the use of an existing one. A properly located and well-designed access is important for the safety and convenience of all road users. The Council will ensure that access arrangements for development proposals are safe and will not unduly hinder the movement of traffic.

It is recognised that it may not always be practicable to comply fully with the appropriate visibility standards. Such standards, like all material considerations, need to be assessed in light of the particular circumstances of the individual case. Exceptionally a relaxation in standards may be acceptable in order to secure other important planning objectives. Visibility standards, however, will not be reduced to such a level that danger is likely to be caused.

Where an existing access is available to facilitate development proposals, the Council will generally expect this to be used unless there is an opportunity to provide more acceptable access arrangements, having regard to both road safety and local amenity considerations. Where an existing access is to be used, but is sub-standard, a condition requiring its improvement prior to the commencement of the development will normally be imposed on a grant of planning permission. In cases where a new access is considered acceptable in preference to the intensified use of an existing access a condition requiring the existing access to be closed may be imposed.

Whatever the type of access, good visibility is also essential for the safety and convenience of all road users. Applicants will therefore be required to have control over the land needed to provide visibility splays and ensure that they are retained free of any obstruction. A condition will normally be imposed requiring that no development shall take place until the works required to provide access, including visibility splays, have been carried out.

Council will apply the current Departmental guidance contained within ‘Creating Places – Achieving Quality in Residential Developments’ (DOE, 2000) and Development Control Advice Note (DCAN) 15 ‘Vehicular Access Standards’ (2ndEdition, DOE, 1999).

  • 33 - Development Control Advice Note (DCAN) 15 (2nd Edition) – Vehicular Access Standards (DOE 1999)
  • 34 - For the purposes of these policies, a field gate is not an access

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