'Traffic proposals for Whitford Road plan not good enough,' claims councillor

Thursday 24 April 2014 Updated: 24/04 19:28

THE WARD councillor responsible for Bromsgrove's Whitford Road has warned that if the controversial outline planning application for the area gets given the go ahead, it could end all hope of building a Western Bypass to ease the town's traffic congestion.

The development to build 490 homes will go before the planning committee on Monday (April 28) and officers have recommended that it, along with £784,489.60 worth of transport improvements, be given the green light.

Among the proposals are £269,550.72 for sustainable pedestrian and cycle schemes, £218,880 worth of bus service enhancements and improvements to several junctions.

They include Junction 1 of the M42, six on the A38 and the turnings from New Road into Finstall Road, the A448 Kidderminster Road into St John Street and the B4091 Hanover Street, along with the places where the A448 Market Street meets B4184 Market Place and where the A38 joins New Road.

But, despite those and the fact that Worcestershire Highways has made no objections, Coun Luke Mallett said the alterations were simply not good enough to cope with the extra traffic demand.

Plans have been mooted for years for a Western bypass which would take traffic from Bromsgrove's Eastern By-Pass and divert it away from the town centre.

Coun Mallett said: "It defies belief the developer has not carried out the detailed modelling and simulation to be able to quantify the number of vehicles their plans will push through our town centre.

"Most developers in this situation would be asked to contribute funds to create a bypass to improve traffic flows within the town, not given the nod to divert more traffic into already congested town centre roads.”

The proposals have also been slammed by The Whitford Vale Voice (WVV) group.

WVV chairman Roy Murphy said: "We welcome the support that the campaign is receiving across Bromsgrove.

"We fail to understand why the developers will not come clean on the impact on local communities and fail to understand why Worcestershire Highways seems powerless to object."

He added WVV was still raising funds to prepare additional evidence to show the impact the proposals would have on the roads and urged anyone who wanted to donate or get involved in the campaign to email him at roy@dixonfamily.com or call him on 01527 871740.

A spokesperson for Miller Homes which has submitted the application said: “Our outline application at Whitford Road is accompanied by a full transportation assessment whose methodology was approved the local highway authority, culminating in their raising no objection to the scheme.

"As recognised in the committee report, the assessment follows best practice and sets out appropriate mitigation measures to deal with traffic arising from the scheme including significant financial contributions to improve the highway network on alternative routes to Whitford Road.

“There is no proposal for a Bromsgrove Western bypass in any current policy document nor, in our view, is there any realistic prospect of delivery of such a scheme.

"In submitting this application, we are simply seeking to bring forward the council's own allocation of the site for housing and associated infrastructure in its new local plan.

"The principle of suitability of the site for development was established some years ago in the adopted Local Plan and there is an urgent need to bring the site forward now as the council rely upon it to meet their housing land requirements and protect other less suitable sites from development.”

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