The recent battle over the access to Hill Close has been lost. Despite a strong case against the developer’s variation of the conditions of the consent, the Planning Officer has recommended approval. Apparently, they can’t (due to legal precedent) refuse permission on account of an unresolved legal battle over land ownership. The PO points to the condition that states these must be resolved before the development goes ahead anyway.
The majority of the objections raise concerns over the narrow nature of Hill Close and the potential for conflicts with pedestrians and passing vehicles. The PO doesn’t answer the main point but just say ‘In this case, the width of the carriageway at 4.5m would not change as part of this application.’ Yes, it remains the same but the real question is it safe for pedestrians? To which the developer answers, and the PO concurs, it will be little used as most people will use the footpath to the village centre. However, older children going to Tarporley High may well use this in the morning rush hour as it could be the shortest route to the bus pick-up point.
What this shows, again, is that once consent is given the developer has a much-improved prospect of altering conditions in a direction that suits their purposes rather than the community. Has anyone seen a case locally where post-consent variations have been refused?