Agenda item

To discuss the Addendum Transport Assessment for Chard


The Accelerated Housing Delivery Programme Manager advised that a planning application from Persimmon Homes for 252 houses as part of the CEDA expansion plan for Chard, had been discussed at the last meeting of the Regulation Committee.  The Committee had been unable to reach a decision and concerns had been expressed regarding the traffic impact of the development, in particular, whether the original transport assessment had dealt with the issues of the cumulative impact of the development with all the other schemes as part of CEDA and other development within the town.  SSDC officers then met with the applicants and their highways consultants to produce an addendum transport note and to review the original assessment in 2016.  They also reviewed the original cumulative impact and assumptions to see if they had been impacted by the interim developments which had taken place.  They were also asked to provide a precise view as to whether the original traffic assessments still represented a robust assessment on the impact of the proposals.  That report was now presented to Members for discussion.   He said the addendum report did conclude that the data assumptions in the key areas of the original report still represented a robust assessment of the impact of the proposed and cumulative impact.  An interim comment had been received from SCC Highway officers that they were generally happy with the content of the report. 


In response to questions from Members the Associate Director from Vectos, the Highway consultants, advised:-


·         The original traffic assessment considered a level of development which far exceeded that which has been built out during the intervening period. The original assumptions had been compared on a year by year basis with the number of dwellings being built and there was clearly a significant overestimation of the level of development expected by 2021.  It assumed a further 830 dwellings would have been constructed during that period and by 2023 it overestimated by 526 dwellings so the assessment as robust.

·         The trip rate analysis through the critical junctions estimated one single additional movement every minute at the convent junction and one additional movement every 4 minutes at the Holyrood junction.

·         The cumulative impact of the development had not been considered serious.

·         The site would also bring forward the first section of the Eastern Relief road.


During discussion, the following points were made:-


·         Local people saw the traffic queueing at the Convent junction on a regular basis.

·         Anyone not familiar with the traffic in Chard could conclude from the report that there was no traffic issues in the town.

·         Every planning application in the town for the past two to three years said the traffic junctions were close to or at capacity. 

·         Completion of the relief road was the only way forward.  

·         Although the site may bring forward the first part of the Eastern relief road, there was no prospect of its completion to the A30 at the current time. 

·         The phasing of development in the Local Plan was out of sequence in Chard and it had failed the town.

·         Relying on developers to provide the relief road had not worked in Crewkerne or Chard


At the conclusion of the debate, Members were content to note the report.