Dangerous Footway Proposals
It appears to be common practice by Wrexham Planners to ignore or attempt to over-rule WCBC Highway Officers recommendations on pedestrian safety aspects relating to developers planning applications. There have been at least 4 instances recently where Wrexham Council Planning Officers have tried to override expert advice on pedestrian safety in favour of developers but Council Members have decided otherwise. Examples are:
Elected Members refused the planning application at Rossett on Land North and South of Lane Farm P/2018/0560 and its resubmission P/2019/0460. The P/2018/0560 decision has since been overturned by a Planning Inspector and the Welsh Minister allowing the modified scheme to proceed albeit in contravention of safety standards and regulations.
The development of 44 Houses in Vicarage Lane Gresford (Refused but now Appealed) PINs Ref 3240973, WCBC Planning Ref P/2018/1063.
A similar situation is developing for a site in Top Road Summerhill Wrexham which has recently been refused by Members on highways and footway safety grounds. WCBC Planning Ref P/2017/0651.
Also the development of 112 Houses in Gatewen Road, Broughton (Refused but now Appealed) PINs Ref 3238474, WCBC Planning Ref P/2018/0674.
Let us examine in more detail the Rossett Safety Concerns
The diagram Fig 1 below shows the blind bend on the approach to the uncontrolled crossing point opposite Holly Cottage and the relevant footway dimensions on the Northern part of Holt Road. The existing footway at this point at best reaches 1.50m for a few metres the remainder is 1.0m or less and is kerb shy in major part making it impossible for any person with a Zimmer frame push chair, wheelchair of baby buggy to traverse the northern approach length of footway. It is difficult for an able bodied person to use this footway length let alone a person with any disability.
Fig 2 below is similar in that it shows the location of the southern portion of proposed footway and pinch points along the way. Again the footway will not meet the requirements of Tan 18 or the Manual for Streets. At several points the existing verge falls short of 1.50m in width.
Fig 3 below is similar to 2 in that it shows the location of the southern portion of proposed footway and pinch points along the way. Again the footway will not meet the requirements of Tan 18 or the Manual for Streets. At several points the existing verge falls short of 1.50m in width and there is some doubt as to whether the verge adjacent to the Stone Wall actually lies within the jurisdiction of the Council as we believe it is the property of the owners of the wall and any interference with the bank may expose or risk damage to the wall foundations.
Fig 4 below is a photo record taken at 11-00 am on 13th August 2020 and those on Fig 2 and 3 were taken early evening again on the 13th August 2020. The point I make here that the traffic situation is very much common to every working day of the week and the potential build out of any kerbs will lead to further restrictions on road width making a present situation worse as large vehicles already have difficulty passing through this stretch of roadway without more restrictions being added.
If the footway proposals are implemented the footway will be contrary to TAN18 -Transport and the Manual for Streets for its complete length and will encourage the footway users into a potential accident location which is kerb shy and will have a maximum width of 720mm leading onto another section of footway which is equally bad.
This is the reason that there is a warning sign at the northern approach to this section of roadway stating No footway for 250 yards. Had improvements to this rural roadway been possible over the years this would have been completed in the 1950s when Trevalyn Hall View Estate was constructed.
The original objection by the Rossett Focus Group to the Statement of Common Ground (agreed between the Planning Officers and Developers) can by read here: OBJECTION to Statement of Common Ground on Proposed Footway Improvements Along Holt Road