West Berkshire Council

Assessing the Impact of Planning Applications on the Highway and Transport Infrastructure

Managing the impact any plans might have on the nearby highways and traffic systems

Sometimes, planning applications are identified that need to have a Transport Assessment (or Transport Statement).  This identifies what measures will be taken to deal with the anticipated transport impacts of the proposed scheme, and to improve accessibility and safety for all modes of travel, particularly for alternatives to the car such as walking, cycling and public transport.  Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, Highways Development Control was consulted on 1,429 such planning applications.

When deciding whether a planning application needs a Transport Assessment or a Transport Statement, the pdf icon Department of Transport - Guidance on Transport Assessments [1Mb] is often referred to.

Travel Plans, encouraging sustainable outcomes by encouraging walking, cycling and public transport, are expected alongside a Transport Assessment.  Travel Plans are assessed by the Transport Policy Team with help from Highways Development Control.

Traffic

Ongoing concern about rising traffic levels within West Berkshire means that we sometimes use computer software traffic models to work out how much traffic junctions can cope with. These models are checked and analysed to make sure that our decisions about how we manage traffic are based on solid and reliable evidence.

New developments should take all modes of transport into consideration to make sure that appropriate facilities can be put in place.  This, in turn, helps to manage the impact on traffic from a proposed development.

The principles set out in the pdf icon Department for Transport's Manual for Streets [4Mb] is applied to all roads in West Berkshire where the speed of vehicles will be 37mph or less. It is also be referred to during the design of new developments.

Waste

West Berkshire Council is aiming for a 50 percent rate for the recycling of rubbish.  To help achieve this, Highways Development Control works with Waste Services to ensure that suitable and accessible waste facilities are provided in new developments. Developers should note that waste collection contractors will not enter new private roads due to liability reasons.

Car and cycle parking

The level of car parking available for new developments depends on accessibility, location, the type of parking and the amount of parking being proposed.  Garages are unlikely to be provided as they are considered to have limited usage. The car parking standards are subject to review from our Transport Policy Team. The parking standards are available in the Local Plan.

Developers should refer to the pdf icon Cycling Advice and Standards for New Development Guidance Note June 2008 [69kb], on the supply of cycle stands and storage for developments.

Providing technical support for long term planning

Highways Development Control is involved in assessing the traffic and travel implications of development sites identified within the West Berkshire Council Core Strategy 2006 to 2026 and also in the housing site allocation process. We're involved in other long term planning to help future development within West Berkshire.

Providing evidence at Planning Appeals

Highways Development Control supports the planning process by taking an active role in public inquiries, informal hearings and written representation appeals.
Most appeals are in defence of the Delivering Investment from Sustainable Development document on financial contributions.
Planning Inspectors support the requested level of Section 106 in almost every case.

Who To Contact

West Berkshire Council's Principal Development Control Engineer, for queries about Highways Development Control

01635 519207