We were appointed by Retirement Villages to support a scheme for an extra care retirement village comprising up to 66 units to the east of Reading Road, Lower Shiplake. We prepared a Transport Statement and Travel Plan to support the planning application, which was refused in 2018. We subsequently acted as expert witness to support a planning appeal for the scheme.
The development proposals included the provision of a new footway alongside Reading Road, which the highway authority did not consider to be deliverable without the need for access to third party land, given the requirement for a retaining structure. We undertook detailed design drawings to demonstrate how the wall could be constructed, and also obtained a construction method statement from a contractor (HighwaysUK) in order to demonstrate that the footway and associated retaining wall could be entirely constructed and thereafter maintained entirely within adopted highway land.
Vehicle speed surveys on Reading Road showed that existing 85th percentile speeds were approximately 40mph. Visibility splays fully in accordance with DMRB guidance were not achievable due to the presence of a number of roadside trees. Following extensive discussions, it was agreed that with the removal of a small group of trees, visibility splays could be achieved in accordance with guidance set out in Manual for Streets 2, and that this would be acceptable.
A Statement of Common Ground was agreed between us, the highway authority and the planning authority that confirmed that all highways related matters had been resolved and were no longer considered reasons for refusal. Following evidence given at the Appeal by both TPA and by other team members in respect of other matters, the Inspector chose to allow the Appeal.