‘Ridiculous’ access plans for homes approved

An artist's impression of the development to replace Windmill Bungalow in Queens Avenue, Donnington.
An artist's impression of the development to replace Windmill Bungalow in Queens Avenue, Donnington.

‘Potentially dangerous’ access arrangements for 16 new homes in Donnington were approved yesterday, despite one councillor calling them ‘almost immoral’.

Seventeen objections were filed in advance of the district planning committee, which voted to permit the development to replace a bungalow in Queens Avenue.

Residents told the committee the proposed access would direct traffic through three heavily congested roads and close off the relatively easy main route through Queens Avenue.

Cllr Tricia Tull, a Donnington resident, said she was ‘wholly shocked’ by the access plans.

She said: “The idea of putting this many more cars onto Waterside Drive, down to Grosvenor Road and on to Stockbridge Road to access the A27 is frankly, I don’t just think it’s disgraceful, I think it’s almost immoral, it’s ridiculous.”

A late representation from Donnington Parish Council was followed by a plea from Bruce Smith, a resident of 15 years, who told the committee Waterside Drive was ‘fraught with perils at the best of times’.

He said: “To cross the flow of traffic to the northbound queue, which can sometimes last over a mile, is excruciatingly frustrating.

“On return, the double parking on Grosvenor Road and parking on Waterside Drive cause an equally frustrating and potentially dangerous situation.

“We feel that the chronic congestion that already exists on this site to the proposed route is being deliberately overlooked and underplayed to the detriment of local residents.”

While some councillors were sympathetic to the access concerns, it was noted that Highways England and the county council highways authority had made no objections to the arrangements.

Officer Tony Whitty said Highways England would object to access on to the A27 via Queens Avenue and the developer had had to pay £150,000 to use Waterside Drive as Taylor Wimpey owned the access rights.

The homes themselves complied with planning policy and revised plans included a £250,000 contribution towards affordable housing elsewhere.

Cllr Jane Kilby, a former Donnington resident, said she understood the impact the development would have, but it would be difficult to reject the application without the support of statutory highways bodies.

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