Busy South Woodham Ferrers road to become “street” as part of 1,200 homes development

Chelmsford City Council has defended highways’ traffic modelling for a large housing development north of South Woodham Ferrers where a main through road is to become a street.

The Essex Quality Review Panel (EQRP), which ensures delivery and promotion of high quality new developments, suggests that the revised B1012 be considered a ‘street.’

The masterplan illustrates how up to 1,200 homes could be accommodated on the site jointly prepared and promoted by three main parties. These are Countryside, which already has an option on part of the site, Essex County Council Property and the Speakman family, with Bellway.

But there are concerns that the development will put undue pressure on the B1012.

In a response to South Woodham Ferrers resident Alan Brunning, the city council said that the function of the B1012 will remain a distributor road, but that the environment will change as a consequence of the development.

It will become more urbanised with crossings and some active frontages and the speed limit will be reduced.

On how Essex Highways can declare that the extra crossings will improve traffic flow on the B1012 at peak times, the city council said: “It is essential that the allocation site is cohesively joined to the existing town and this will be assisted by a series of pedestrian and cycle crossings on the B1012 to ensure integration.

“This prioritises sustainable modes, which is in line with the council’s wider strategy for safer, greener and better connected developments.

“Priority should be given to walking and cycling rather than the use of the private car to encourage people to travel by sustainable modes.

“Essex County Council Highways Authority has advised that pedestrian crossings can actually help to regulate flows at junctions, when crossings are called, they briefly hold the traffic back for short periods of time creating breaks in the traffic at roundabout approaches allowing traffic on other arms to clear.”

It added: “The function of B1012 will remain a distributor road, but the environment will change as a consequence of the development.

“It will become more urbanised with crossings, some active frontages and the speed limit will reduce.

“The introduction of crossings on the B1012 are necessary to link the new development with the rest of South Woodham Ferrers. The environment of Burnham Road will therefore change as a consequence of the development and this has to be recognised and planned for.

“Consideration is therefore being given to the reduction in speed limit to 30mph which would be in keeping with a more urbanised environment.

“This may lead to slightly longer journey times for vehicles, but will provide the connectivity and safer environment which is required to ensure a cohesive development.

“The Transport Assessment will consider the impacts.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter