VECTOS REPRESENTATIONS ON THE DFT REVISED POLICY FOR THE STRATEGIC ROAD NETWORK
On the 11th February 2013, the Government published a consultation on their revised policy setting out the role of the strategic road network in enabling economic growth. The consultation period lasted until the 25th March 2013 and following a review of this revised policy, Vectos submitted representations to the Department for Transport (DfT).
The consultation document and draft policy document can be found at the following links:
The overall policy aim stated within the document is to "deliver sustainable development and, thus, economic growth, whilst safeguarding the primary function and purpose of the strategic road network".
This draft document will replace DfT Circular 02/2007 Planning and the Strategic Network and DfT Circular 01/2008 Policy on Service Areas and other Roadside Facilities on Motorways and All-purpose Trunk Roads in England. In passing we note that the recent DCLG report "External Review of Government Planning Practice Guidance" (The Taylor Report) recommends that DfT Circular 02/07 can be cancelled as planning guidance as it is out of date.
A welcome point within the proposed revised policy was the lack of any mention of the "nil-detriment" approach and the proposed alignment with the NPPF. The draft circular, stated that "…development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe.". However, a number of inconsistencies with the NPPF were also found in the draft circular, which suggested that the nil-detriment approach would still be alive and kicking, thus inhibiting the economic growth agenda.
Vectos provided representations to the DfT which can be found here.