The Local Planning Authority has a statutory duty to consult the Local Highway Authority on appropriate planning applications where there will be an impact on the operation of the local highway system. This effect may for example be the provision of a new access, the increase in traffic flows on the local highway network, the introduction of a change in traffic distribution patterns and vehicle types, the ability to access the site by sustainable modes and/or the provision of new residential, employment, leisure or industrial estate roads.
The traffic and transportation impact of planning applications are examined by Highway Development Control Engineers who follow national guidance and then provide the 'highway recommendation' to the planning officer to assist them in their recommendation and ultimate determination of the planning application.
The main national guidance that is normally appropriate in this respect is:
- The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
- Sustainability & Environment Appraisal - LA104 Environmental assessment and monitoring
- Manual for Streets 1 and 2
- National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
- Planning Practice Guidance (PPG)
The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB), part of the ‘Standards for Highways’ is undergoing a refresh starting with the DMRB and many of the technical documents have been changed.
Local Highway Authorities also tend to publish their own local guidance on highway design and the construction of new estate roads which should be based primarily on national guidance but with an appropriate reference to the topographical features of their administrative area and the nature of existing development.
In all of the above areas of 'traffic and transportation' this work is undertaken either direct by the council’s engineers or by appointed private consultants working on the council’s behalf.
In respect to the private consultant, in addition to the above, is the opposite role of assisting in the promotion of development proposals and the provision of highway advice in the key area of delivering safe and satisfactory access arrangements to new developments. This role has to incorporate all elements of traffic and transportation together with a thorough knowledge of the planning system in the UK.
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