The first steps towards a major industrial development near Dudley have been halted only days after a fatal car crash.
Councillors rejected an application for a new access route from Dreadnought Road onto the site of the proposed warehouse project in Pensnett – after residents voiced fears over traffic safety.
The Development Control Committee voted down planning officers’ recommendations to grant the application which was the first stage in a proposed 3,700 square metre commercial development.
Their decision came only a week after a 17-year-old woman was killed in a fatal car crash in after a vehicle overturned on Tansey Green Road in the early hours of the morning.
Residents opposing the scheme claimed the development would see an increase in heavy goods vehicles along Dreadnought Road and Tansey Green Road.
A report by highways officers drawn up before the latest accident said there had been 12 collisions in the last five years, with 50 per cent being associated with speeding or alcohol and 100 per cent involving driver error. Three quarters of the incidents happened outside the peak hours.
The report added: “Whilst the development will generate a small number of additional movements in the peak hours, given the low peak hour accident rate, it is not considered the development will have any material effect on the highway safety in the area.”
But Mr Steve Taylor, objecting to the scheme on behalf of residents, argued both streets were accident blackspots.
He said: “Virtually every household on Dreadnought Road and Tansey Green Road are objecting. These are not people who are opposed to change but people who have seen their lives and mental wellbeing changed on a daily basis by increased traffic volumes, noise and air pollution and speeding vehicles.”
He added: “Dreadnought and Tansey Green roads are known to be accident blackspots. The many accidents and the recent fatality are irrefutable evidence of this.”
Pleading to committee members to reject the proposal, he said: “Ask yourself one question. Would you want to live opposite this development and the access point in particular? If the answer is no, then why should others have it?”
Mr Alex Patrick-Smith, managing director of Hinton Perry & Davenhill Ltd which is proposing the new development, said his company had been based in Pensnett since 1805.
Speaking of the fatal traffic incident on May 23 he said it there was no evidence it resulted from the traffic levels on local roads.
He said “Our vision for this area is for a thriving community where jobs are available for local people and businesses and homes co-exist.”
He added the application only related to the access point on Dreadnought Road and the overall development would be decided at a detailed planning stage.
“I urge you all to value the economic benefit that this significant investment will bring to the enterprise zone which has been heavily promoted by Dudley,” he said.
Cllr John Martin, explaining why he would vote against the proposal, said: “The prospect of vehicles and particularly large vehicles negotiating the new access point fills me with dread.
“Dreadnought Road is known as an accident blackspot and residents will tell you, and provide evidence if needed, of very many accidents that taken place over many years.”
“Some have been reported to the police and the local authority but many haven’t.”
The application was rejected by a majority vote.