Sunday, January 21, 2007

If any planners want to see the impact of your short-sighted regulations, please visit Bowthorpe

Bowthorpe is three communities within a single community. When it was concieved in the 1970s it was proposed that Clover Hill, Chapel Break and Three Score should be built around a centre with a bigger centre in the middle (current Roys site). And each stage of the development was meant to be an improvement on the last - with each design informing the next and so on. Three Score, phase one, should have been the most satisfactory design for optimum living and Three Score, phase two, should do even more than that. The council is currently debating the eco-rating of the new homes and the use of the green spaces. However, whilst they are keen to learn from Clover Hill and Chapel Break, they don't seem to have realised the biggest design flaw of them all.

In all of this nobody has noticed that the roas still aren't wide enough. Mardle Street wasn't wide enough but they still built Bladewater Road. That wasn't wide enough but they still built Caddow Road. That wasn't wide enough but Horn-Pie Road still appeared. What has changed? Nothing. So I am going to use every chance I can as Councillor to press this point before plans are set in stone for the Phase Two development.

What causes this? Parking. The road is wide enough for two lanes but parking makes it impossible for most larger vehicles to manoever around. Why is that ... because planning regs mean you only have to provide one space per home. Hence families with two cars, or couples who work in opposite directions and need two cars, often have to block their roads without meaning to do so.

What does this mean? Well, for a start a lot of people aren't getting their bins emptied because CityCare can't get the lorries down them or around the cars. And more worryingly the emergency services often cannot get past - and in a life-and-death situation every second counts. They want to be saving lives not inching around a Vauxhall Astra.

Now, Chapel Break and Clover Hill do not suffer like this. And, for that matter, do the older roads (such as The Runnell, Fresher Mews and Tippett Close) in Three Score. So what has changed? Well, out the window go common sense, practicalities and public safety and in comes the desire to pack as many houses into a small a space as possible.

I just hope somebody makes the change before the next 1200 homes go in ... I'll be shouting so they can't say nobody raised the issue.

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