Cycle Winchester responds to Bushfield Camp outline planning application

Cycle Winchester has submitted a response to the outline planning application for this site. The summary below is an excerpt from our full response, which can be downloaded here. We intend to continue working with the developers and the relevant local authorities to identify a proposal that will facilitate and encourage cycling as a means of transport and travel.

Cycle Winchester’s recommendation

Cycle Winchester does NOT support this application in its present form and recommends deferring until the application includes satisfactory provision for access by cycle and pedestrian routes. Given that the application requests to set Access outside of Reserved Matters, if unconditional approval were given at this stage, we are sceptical that connectivity with areas surrounding the site would be improved in a timely manner.

We note that the applicant has an obligation under the Local Plan (Policy WT3):

Promotion of non-vehicular access to and within the site, to ensure integration with the surrounding areas and to minimise and mitigate its impact on the strategic highway network;

We recognise that the application facilitates movement of pedestrians and cyclists within the developed site. We also recognise that a suitable development proposal, with good non-vehicular access, will be beneficial in establishing cycling routes in a poorly-served part of the city.

However, establishing non-vehicular connectivity in the surrounding areas requires collaboration between the applicant, Winchester City, and Hampshire County Councils. The two authorities each own land which must be crossed to establish effective connections between the Bushfield site and adjacent destinations. It’s disappointing that the application lacks evidence of agreements between the parties on non-vehicular access changes, especially as there has has obviously been close collaboration on road layouts. The development should not be approved until these agreements are in place.

Given the very large scale of the development, and the projected 8,399 trips per day (Transport Assessment, section 5.4), we feel that an environmentally-responsible applicant ought to be motivated, and should be mandated, to increase the number of daily trips by cycle beyond the 212 (2.5%) anticipated in the application.

Cycle Winchester does not comment on the broader issues around desirability of a large development at the fringe of city; we restrict ourselves to ensuring that if such a development is approved, it is designed to facilitate and encourage cycling as a means of transport and travel.

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