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9. Transport and Telecommunications

9.1. The polices in this section have the following objectives:

  • To facilitate the improvement of the transport and telecommunications network.
  • To protect the character of the countryside from inappropriate transport and telecommunications development.
    Other transport issues are dealt with by the General Planning Policies.

Transport Improvements

9.2. There are three major schemes proposed during the plan period requiring land outside the existing highway. They will be supplemented by other proposals identified through the Essex Local Transport Plan and the Uttlesford Transport Strategy. These will include facilities for cyclists, pedestrians and users of public transport. The Essex Local Transport Plan is developed in partnership with the Borough and District Councils of Essex, major transport operators and infrastructure providers. Uttlesford Council is a member of the steering group which is assisting in the preparation of the new Essex Local Transport Plan 2006 to 2011.

Policy T1 – Transport Improvements

The following transport schemes are proposed:

  • The new A120 Stansted to Braintree
  • M11 – Airport slips at Junction 8 Birchanger Roundabout
  • Great Dunmow North West Perimeter Road

Land shown on the proposals map is safeguarded for the construction of these schemes.

Uttlesford Transport Strategy

9.3. The Council’s Transport Strategy published in 2001 highlighted the following key issues:

  • Uttlesford has above average levels of car ownership compared to both Essex and Great Britain as a whole. These levels are likely to continue to increase. Promoting greater use, and better coordination of public transport is a real challenge in a rural area.
  • There are key areas that should be targeted for greater public transport use, in particular Stansted Airport.
  • Commuting to work beyond Uttlesford is significant because of London and other accessible large centres beyond its boundaries. Retention of local employment opportunities and support for home working are important.
  • Congestion occurring on the existing A120 will cease when the new road is built and open to the public. At that time opportunities will exist to introduce traffic management in communities on the existing route and public transport express services between centres in and beyond Uttlesford.
  • Lorry traffic on some country lanes and in some historic towns and villages is intrusive. Weak bridges in some strategic locations exacerbate this situation. These need to be strengthened as a priority
  • Uttlesford has a higher than average accident rate for its population compared to other Essex districts. Reducing speed and introducing traffic management should be a priority.
  • There are a variety of existing community travel initiatives in the District. These should be examined to establish if opportunities exist to coordinate them better and to connect them with other public transport services.
  • There are opportunities to develop useful cycle routes in and around Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow. Essex County Council has produced an overall plan, the “Uttlesford Cycle Network Plan”. This is being implemented during the plan period.
  • There are opportunities to introduce School Travel Plans during the plan period, particularly in relation to the new schools to be built in association with new developments along the A120 axis.
  • Road and air traffic will continue to grow in the next 5 years and it will be vital to monitor potential air and noise pollution.

9.4. In response to these issues the Local Plan’s development strategy and policies aim to locate and design new sites for development that encourage modes of transport other than the car. Policy GEN1 specifically requires the needs of cyclists, pedestrians, public transport users, horse riders and people whose mobility is impaired to be taken into account in the design of development sites. Policy GEN 8 applies appropriate car parking standards which include minimum cycle spaces and maximum vehicle spaces.

Roadside Services and the New A120

9.5. There are services at Birchanger Roundabout offering a wide range of facilities, at Braintree on the A120 east of the district and at the South Gate site which is part of the Stansted Airport development.

Policy T2 – Roadside Services and the new A120

Roadside services on the new A120 alignment will not be permitted unless there is an over-riding need on the part of road users.

Airport Parking

9.6. Adequate space exists inside the boundary of Stansted Airport for air passengers to park their cars if they have driven to the airport. It is important that the character of the villages and countryside around Stansted and residential amenities are not damaged by car parking compounds. The scale and management of car parking needs to be carefully controlled in order to maximise the percentage of non transfer air passengers using public transport to get to or from the airport. This would not be practicable if the provision of car parking became fragmented and included off airport sites. It would undermine the airport surface access strategy agreed by the multi agency airport area transport forum. It will also be important to ensure that the scale of car parking associated with hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation and the like does not exceed vehicle parking standards for the same reason. There are market pressures to use spare capacity to accommodate air passengers’ cars whilst they are not in residence at these establishments.

Policy T3 - Car Parking Associated with Development at Stansted Airport

Proposals for car parking associated with any use at Stansted Airport will be refused beyond the Airport boundaries, as defined in the Stansted Airport Inset Map.

Telecommunications

9.7. The majority of proposals for telecommunications development do not require planning permission. Some do, however, and the following policy will apply.

Policy T4 – Telecommunications Equipment

Telecommunications equipment will be permitted if the following criteria are all met:

a) There are no practicable alternatives such as mast sharing;
b) There is a technical requirement for the equipment that outweighs its visual impact;
c) The equipment is designed and located so as to reduce its impact as far as possible;

The proposal complies with the safety requirements of the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

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For further information, please telephone (01799) 510454 or 510461. Email: planning@uttlesford.gov.uk