Proposals for Birmingham housing estate 'used as cut-through' recommended for refusal

The view of Bowler Road from City Road
-Credit: (Image: Google Earth)

Proposals for the installation of access gates at an Edgbaston housing estate to stop motorists using it as a ‘cut-through’ have been recommended for refusal. A number of concerns were raised over the planning application, which is set to be considered by the City Council next week.

Those behind the proposals want to install two vehicle and pedestrian access gates along Wicket Drive and Bowler Road, an estate sandwiched between the busy City Road and Rotten Park Road. They also want to see a pedestrian gate adjacent to the nearby Harborne Walk.

The application form states that these would be operated by a key fob, sensor, or keypad by residents from the existing residential housing estate and is required to prevent vehicles using the estate as a cut-through. 31 letters in support of the proposal were received, saying it would also improve safety and security from unauthorised access.

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However, a recently-published report pointed to numerous issues, including potential harm to mature trees and highway safety. In particular, it says the proposed vehicular and pedestrian gates are both in close proximity to the corner junctions of two busy main roads.

“Concern is therefore raised regarding vehicles, particularly larger vehicles waiting for the gates to open, and the potential over-hang from larger vehicles extending back onto busy main roads, which would cause queuing and congesting issues,” the council officer’s report said. Turning its attention to other possible impacts, the report said the gates, around 2.1 metres in height, would appear as “incongruous anomalies” which would be out of character within the open nature of the surrounding roads and highway network.

“Furthermore, the gates would result in the closure of two roads creating a gated community which would in effect isolate members of the general public from accessing it,” it went on to say. The report continued that a Birmingham planning document states that “gated forms of development will not normally be acceptable”.

It continued: “There is no evidence that consideration has been given to the installation of street calming measures to reduce the likelihood of the development’s roads being used as a cut through, or consideration of other less harmful measures to increase security to residents". Explaining why the proposals had ultimately been recommended for refusal, the report said the harm associated with the proposals, such as the creation of a gated community, are not “outweighed” by the claimed benefits.

The planning application will be considered by the council’s planning committee on Thursday, July 11.

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