‘No safety grounds’ to refuse plans to sell pavement for front garden

ks180246-4 Chi Witt Footpath  phot kate   The strip of pavement in question. It extends in a straight line from the end of the wall in the distance, parallel too the present wall on the right.ks180246-4 SUS-180522-184534008
ks180246-4 Chi Witt Footpath phot kate The strip of pavement in question. It extends in a straight line from the end of the wall in the distance, parallel too the present wall on the right.ks180246-4 SUS-180522-184534008

Plans to incorporate two metres of pavement into a house’s front garden in East Wittering cannot justifiably be turned down on highway safety grounds, according to the county council.

The Watersedge Gardens homeowner has bought the strip of land in Shore Road from West Sussex County Council and has submitted a change of use application to Chichester District Council.

But this was deferred by members of CDC’s planning committee in May to receive more information from WSCC on pedestrian safety and for a site visit.

Residents have raised concerns about the safety of all pavement users, especially children and people with disabilities, as well as impeding visibility for vehicles.

The area in question was described as a refuge where pedestrians can pass safely, with no pavement on the eastern side of Shore Road.

But county council highways officers have said the proposed reduced width of the footpath ‘will be no less than that provided south of the site’.

WSCC’s comments concluded:”The local highways authority are satisfied that the applicant has demonstrated sufficient footway width will remain in line with national guidance documents Manual for Streets and Inclusive Mobility. “Existing sub-standard footway provision in the vicinity should not prejudice the proposals where these have been demonstrated to meet with nationally recognised guidance.

“The LHA could therefore not cite a highway safety ground to resist the proposals.”

The application is due to come back to the planning committee on Wednesday (July 18).

According to district council planning officers: “It is considered that the proposed change of use would not have a harmful impact on the character and appearance of the existing dwelling or the street scene.

“Furthermore the proposal would provide sufficient visibly splays for vehicles exiting Watersedge Gardens and would not impact upon highway safety. The proposal would also provide a sufficient width of footpath for the safety of pedestrian movements.

“The application is therefore considered to accord with Local Plan polices and the NPPF and is recommended for approval subject to conditions.”

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