North Dorset Council rejects Stour Hill caravan access plans for "dangerous road"
ACCESS off a major road to a potential caravan site close to a dangerous crossroads has been refused planning permission on highway safety grounds despite a lack of objection from the highway authority.
Members of North Dorset District Council's development management committee had held a site meeting prior to their decision on the application by Mr W Lee to create the new access from land at Stour Hill Farm onto Stour Hill on the A30 at West Stour.
Highway officer Steve Savage said that the visibility splays and entrance, proposed after discussion with the highway authority, met requirements for average stopping distances on the main road which has a 60mph speed limit.
But members were concerned that vehicles towing caravans would be less nimble than the average car, and so put themselves and others at risk.
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Councillor Charles Dowden said the impact on neighbouring land users, who included motorists on the A30, could be too great.
The committee was told that permission for the caravan site had been granted more than 25 years ago with access to the more minor road from Fifehead Magdalen, which meets the A30 at the Stour Hill crossroads, where visibility was even poorer. But the site had been split in two, and there was now a dispute over the original access.
Coun Geoffrey Miller proposed refusal: "Stour Hill is one of the most dangerous bits of the most dangerous road in North Dorset."
Councillor David Milsted said the visibility distances were only just within the safety margin.
"This entrance is to be used almost exclusively by vehicles towing caravans, which are not as nimble as a car, and they will be travelling uphill and pulling across the road. We should not allow that scenario to occur," he said.
The application was refused by six votes to five.