This is what's wrong with the world today. Minor road planning rant.

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  • This is what's wrong with the world today. Minor road planning rant.
  • I don’t know the full story behind this, or what the catchment area is for the school, but I’m not one to let a lack facts stop me having a rant.

    Chaddesley Corbett is a small village in Worcestershire.
    A new school was built just outside the village recently.
    It’s so new that it doesn’t show up on Google Earth yet, but it’s just to the East of the nursery at the bottom of the map.

    It’s on Street View though, and this shows what’s wrong.

    A school within walking distance of a village, with no footpath to it, right by the end of a 60mph speed limit, just within a widely ignored 30mph limit.

    So, there you are. If you want to travel less than 1km to school, you can either walk on the grass verge, cycle along a narrow road with speeding cars, or drive.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Valid points, no swearing or random capitals, correctly spelt…

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Ah, but the school was built by the local authority I would assume? Therefore the planning department wasn’t able to extort, sorry, force, err no, enable the developers to contribute to the existing infrastructure, therefore building a footpath or cycle way to enable the pupils to make their way to school.

    Or, how else would the yummy mummies be able to compare Chelsea tractors in the car park?

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Lovely verge though, top notch. Good bush too, nicely trimmed. Just the thing to lurk behind.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    People will have to…………..walk along the grass? No, noooo, NOOOOO! Why do they have to torture us? Can’t they leave our souls to burn with dignity?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    If* there’s no planning for upgrading (widening, slowing down and adding a pavement and crossings) the road, then yes that is indeed pretty shit.

    *which OP admits he doesn’t know

    <edit> hang on you said built, as in finished? open and still no road changes?

    glasgowdan I’m sure it’s a lovely stroll during a dry spell in the summer. Pretty bloody useless when it’s boggy the rest of the year – and no good for parents with prams or kids cycling to school

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Walking to school are you poor and common?

    timc
    Member

    so to clarify, its not finished yet?

    Yes, the school is open and they even claim to be an Eco School, whatever that is.

    Presumably, the mown grass and flower borders are provided by the plant nursery next door, but the grass won’t stay nice and green like that throughout the winter with any amount of foot traffic.

    It gets worse.
    Not only does the ”Outside The School” page seem to focus on the provision of parking spaces, it appears to show that the only way to get in to the school is to walk in the road.
    I can’t see any pedestrian access at all.

    nealglover
    Member

    Maybe use this page

    http://www.ccschool.co.uk/contact-us.html

    And ask them what the plan is for people who want to walk to school ?

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Well look at the condition of that grass verge, it makes me sick.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    fortunately for the fellows of Chaddsley Corbett (great point to point venue BTW 🙂 ) it is a front runner for Neighbourhood Plans and the issue of pavements is already in the draft plan which will form the basis of development including ongoing highways proposals for the area.

    http://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/cms/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/neighbourhood-planning/chaddesley-corbett-neighbourho.aspx

    Draft neighbourhood plan: http://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/cms/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/neighbourhood-planning/idoc.ashx?docid=aafef46b-edac-4854-9030-9f5f5c28c09d&version=-1

    pages 63-64

    “a pavement should be provided from the Fox to the new school; and

    so it’s been identified as an issue, and I guess you just have to wait for the cogs to turn…

    allthepies
    Member

    That really is poor.

    There does seem to be a footpath starting within the school grounds but what’s the point of that if there’s no footpath access externally ?

    Edit: Stoner has the answer, but seems odd to built school first and then add (foot) access later.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Don’t you come on here after getting the full story Stoner you’re running what’s wrong with the world today.

    That said I’m not sure what that is, that people are expected to walk on grass, that they’ve built a new school outside of the town to relieve the issues about parking and safety or that it was posted in the wrong forum.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    edited due to subsequent info from those in the know

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    MTQG if you search the Wyre planning portal for the permissin granted in respect of 09/0073/FULL you can then go to Plans and documents and read what it has to say about the provision of a footway and cycling. (you want the 20/09/11 Supporting Documents pdf)

    http://npa.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00091400.pdf

    the document shows that theyve had problems getting the pathway sorted. Its not clear why, but it’s not for want of trying.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    http://npa.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00084445.pdf

    they specifically proposed putting pedestrian access away from the main road which seems eminently sensible to me

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    OK so it looks like they planned it properly but someone blocked it, come on who was it? I’ve got my pitchfork sharpened and everything

    Well found, stoner. Although, if that as a warehouse or transport yard, access for lorries would have been one of the primary concerns before granting planning permission.
    I find it surprising that a school could be built, then it takes a year to consider access for children.

    …posted in the wrong forum.

    I originally thought of this in the context of kids cycling to school, as that is one of the local roads I try to avoid on a bike.
    It’s not specifically bike related though, so either forum will do.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    and for more detail read the committe report for all the gumf on access

    Officers are advised that the applicants now claim to have encountered
    difficulties in respect of the footway/cycleway. Specifically, the adjoining
    landowner has made it clear that, for reasons understood to relate to issues of
    insurance, he cannot and will not permit a cycleway across his land. It is on
    this basis that the applicants are now seeking to vary the relevant conditions,
    and in doing have submitted an alternative proposal which would maintain a
    footway along the previously agreed route, but with a separate cycleway
    restricted to a link between the school “front door” and the A448 Bromsgrove
    Road. Thereafter, cyclists would be required to use the existing public
    highway, which in the immediate vicinity of the school site does not feature
    any pedestrian footway

    http://npa.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00112818.pdf

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Stoner wrote:

    ”a pavement should be provided from the Fox to the new school; and

    so it’s been identified as an issue, and I guess you just have to wait for the cogs to turn…

    So the school moved (from a nice site in the middle of the village where it was easy for lots of kids to walk to) in 2012, and in September 2013 a survey includes a suggestion that a pavement should be provided. Note that’s not even been raised as an issue, it’s just what people are saying in a survey. Excuse me for not being thrilled at this example of encouraging people to use their cars even more.

    EDIT: more info whilst I was typing that, but it’s not exactly positive stuff is it?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I just think people are to quick to jump down planners throats. The planners, police, highways and applicants all wanted safe secondary ped & cycle access in accordance with national frameworks etc. The outline permission was granted with it. Then something comes from out of the blue, **** the whole plan. Do they abandon the whole thing? Or press on and try and fix it later? Its not a conspiracy, its not even incompetence (for a change) it’s just dumb fortune and bad timing.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Do they abandon the whole thing? Or press on and try and fix it later?

    Should they have withheld permission until this was 100% sorted? Should council have the clout to steamroller this stuff through? Presumably they could do this for the footway coz if not and the landowner said no pedestrians either you’d have a school with car only access and no chance of fixing it.

    Is the insurance thing legit or just scaremongering/made up bollocks by an anti-cyclist landowner?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Stoner wrote:

    Then something comes from out of the blue, **** the whole plan.

    Out of the blue, the landowner who the path would run across and who they clearly hadn’t actually got the permission of refuses. Presumably it wasn’t possible to actually get permission for a route before the original application which included it?

    Do they abandon the whole thing? Or press on and try and fix it later? Its not a conspiracy, its not even incompetence (for a change) it’s just dumb fortune and bad timing.

    What’s wrong with fixing the problem before pressing ahead? It certainly doesn’t appear to be the sort of problem which couldn’t be fixed by throwing a bit of money at it. Clearly a pedestrian and cycle route was an integral part of the original plan, something they would never have got the original permission without. Should they just be allowed to drop any of the conditions when they become awkward?

    Edukator
    Member

    I know the Daily Mail is frowned on in these parts but it does do rants rather well.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    True Stoner, but if the road had an issue (i.e. say it transpired that the new junction to the school couldn’t be built for some reason) then I bet it would have been dealt with as a top priority.

    It’s a good example of pedestrian/cycle access being treated as a “nice to have” rather than an essential part of the infrastructure.

    I don’t blame the planners though – it is the sad state of the society we live in.

    A mate of mine lived out in Colorado for a while and everyone drove everywhere. He walked the half mile to work and was considered very weird for doing so. I fear parts of the UK slipping down the same path.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Should they just be allowed to drop any of the conditions when they become awkward?

    from stories I’ve read about cycle infrastructure this does seem a common theme, promising the world and then downsizing it when it becomes at all difficult or expensive (if the promises weren’t BS from the start)

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    In this instance the permission for the path was negotiated and granted. The footpath access isnt a problem. The landowner obviously has been informed that by making it a permissive cycleway across his land he has public liability that by the looks of it he either can’t insure or it’s punitively expensive.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Love this picture in the DM article:

    “Right, we know there is no footpath and it is muddy out, so let’s put on the most inappropriate footwear we can find. You wear sandals and I’ll put on me slippers Ugg boots.”

    (And notably in the comments it is revealed she wasn’t actually walking to the school. The ones that were wore wellies but were not photographed by the Daily Mail)

    I should have guessed that I wasn’t the first person to spot this problem, or that it is far more complicated than it first appears.

    Some good points above.
    If the land owner is refusing permission for a permissive path because of insurance worries, then how does every other permissive path in the country work ?
    Wouldn’t a simple “At your own risk” sign at either end cover it ? Couldn’t the council pay the insurance premium ?

    If an old mineshaft had collapsed and taken the car access road with it, that would have been sorted pretty quick.
    As it’s only foot and cycle access though, they’ll just carry on without it.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    The landowner obviously has been informed that by making it a permissive cycleway across his land he has public liability

    exactly the scaremongering I was thinking of, does anyone here know if it’s true?
    Are land owners responsible for injuries on ROWs? Didn’t think so but ianal

    jamiea
    Member

    Or is it that the landowner thinks he can get more money out of the council then when he’s been paid off the insurance problem ‘goes away’? Cynical, moi?!?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Stoner wrote:

    The landowner obviously has been informed that by making it a permissive cycleway across his land he has public liability that by the looks of it he either can’t insure or it’s punitively expensive.

    Which is quite clearly a complete load of bollocks, given the existence of plenty of other such routes without any problems. I’d suggest that the DM pictures make clear the real reason – for a cycleway he’d have been obliged to upgrade the surface, for a footway he can get away with doing the minimum possible or less. I was all prepared to drop my objections having read all of the details, on the basis that you could just cycle on the footpath and ignore that it wasn’t officially allowed, but not seeing those pics. I’m also not sure why you should have to wear wellies to walk to school unless you have to walk down a muddy track from your house to get to a road.

    These issues were very much possible to fix, but deemed too unimportant.

    I note that in the report Stoner links the planning officer actually recommends refusal (citing all the statutory authorities comments on the issue), so the system worked well up to that point. Sadly the decision is too old to have any details of the meeting online, so impossible to even see the voting figures where the councillors ignored the planning officers recommendations.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    the costs of upgrading the path would not have been the landowners, obviously. It would have been borne by the development.

    “can we have permissions to ride across you land sir, by the way you’re paying for the tarmac?”

    I dont think so.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Well there’s certainly something else behind this – the insurance thing is clearly a load of cobblers. Though I note that the DM article suggests it’s the landowner going to upgrade the path, which is what I based my comments on. The correct answer would have been to tell them to go away and sort it properly, not just roll over.

    I note that given that DM article it is clear that they didn’t comply with condition 29 of the permission anyway, as the footway wasn’t constructed properly before the school was brought into use (I’m making the wild assumption that the “detailed method statement” didn’t specify a muddy track).

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