Bristol news Change to Bristol road blocked after fatal hit-and-run MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Residents and local councillors said the addition would be “unnecessary” and “dangerous”
Breaking News ! Councillors have blocked an attempt to add a shop driveway to a major road in Bristol where a young woman was killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver five years ago. Megan Brogan, 27, was on a pedestrian crossing on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford when she was hit by a speeding car and died at the scene on January 19, 2016. Jake Mitchell, 25, was found to be more than twice over the legal alcohol limit and was jailed for five and a half years after he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. Ms Brogan’s death still haunts the community, which rose up in opposition to plans to add an “unnecessary” and “dangerous” road access directly off Hatchet Road to serve an empty shop, a South Gloucestershire Council planning committee heard. Stoke Gifford Cllr Brian Allinson told members he had “rarely encountered an application that has caused such concern and alarm locally” in nearly 20 years as a councillor. Community members were particularly worried about the safety of school children who walk to and from schools in the area, the meeting heard. Developer Danolly Limited applied to create a new access off Hatchet Road to a car park outside the former Co-operative store in a small shopping precinct. An agent for the applicant told committee members the Co-op closed for the “sole reason” the existing entrances to precinct from North Road and Hatchet Lane did not bring enough customers to make it “viable”. Willow Mercer said the retail unit needed an entrance that was “visible” from Hatchet Road to attract passing customers and that there were no “proper planning objections” that would stand up at a planning appeal. The shops on Hatchet Road and nearby pedestrian crossing and North Road roundabout. The proposed driveway would have sat beside the pink 'For Lease' sign (Image: Google) Council officers who recommended the application for approval conceded they were unable to oppose it on road safety grounds, despite their misgivings. It was “broadly the same” as a proposal refused previously, they said, but the developer had proposed cross hatching on Hatchet Road at the junction with the new driveway and provided a “desktop” road safety audit showing there were “no material hazards”. But members of the planning committee were persuaded by the passionate arguments of local councillors and residents, some of whom spoke at the meeting. Stoke Gifford Parish Council and 33 residents lodged written objections to the application, saying it would increase traffic, congestion and the risk of accidents for pedestrians and other road users. Megan Brogan Cllr Allinson, who has lived in the area for 37 years, said the proposed new entrance was “totally unnecessary” and he objected to it in the “strongest possible terms”.
. “Any additional entrance onto that road is unwise and dangerous and is very much objected to by almost the entire community. “The Co-op is dead. The Co-op is gone. This is merely an application to improve the saleability of that empty property. “There are already two perfectly serviceable entrances into that area which everybody knows about and everybody uses.” Members heard that the stretch of road where the new entrance was proposed had two light-controlled pedestrian crossings, three roundabouts and two busy bus stops, one serving a metrobus route. The “very busy” road serves three schools, three railway stations, the University of the West of England, a large housing estate, shops, and a medical centre, they heard.
Parish councillor Andrew Shore said the proposed new entrance would cause delays and queues on Hatchet Road and increase the risk of accidents. “In particular, it would put school children in danger,” he said. Co-op’s problem had been that it stocked an “inferior range of products at higher prices” than the Tesco Express down the road, Cllr Shore added. All of the other shops in the precinct, including a fish and chip shop, estate agents, barber, and hairdressers, have survived using the existing entrances, he said. Seven of the nine-strong planning committee voted to refuse the application based on the “severe” impact it would have on road safety. Two members abstained during the vote on February 18. Labour’s Katie Cooper said she felt uncomfortable making a decision without the benefit of a site visit, while Liberal Democrat Cllr Jayne Stansfield said she could see no technical reason to refuse the application.
Source = MetiNews.Com