Train operator asked to rethink plans for car park extension

PUBLISHED: 08:25 02 November 2018

Greater Anglia submits planning application to extend Audley End Station. Picture: GOOGLE

Greater Anglia submits planning application to extend Audley End Station. Picture: GOOGLE

Archant

A train operator’s planning application to add an extra 152 spaces to the car park at Audley End Station has been refused.

The car park at the station in Wendens Ambo was last extended in 2010 to cater for 166 extra spaces at the eastern side and Greater Anglia said it is expecting a 50 per cent increase in passenger trips at the station over the next decade.

The planning application was considered by Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee last Wednesday.

There are currently 662 standard parking spaces, four blue badge spaces and seven spaces for staff parking.

Wendens Ambo Parish Council objected to the application on grounds of “flawed justification” and said the application was “premature”.

The parish council also raised issues about light and noise pollution and said access to the site is currently inadequate.

Sixteen letters of objection were received from neighbouring properties to the railway station and their grounds for objection included traffic congestion in the village, noise, existing spaces in the car park, pollution and loss of landscaping and trees.

However, the Uttlesford District Council (UDC) officer who recommended approval of the application, Emmanuel Allanah, said: “The principle of the development is acceptable because in rural areas such as Uttlesford, many residents will need to use private cars and this proposal provides a compromise to minimise the extent of those car journeys and enable greater use of rail services which would limit the harm upon the highway network and climate change through the emission of car fumes.”

At the planning committee on Wednesday, Councillor Julie Redfern said the plans seemed like an “excessive use of the land” and suggested Greater Anglia add another level to the car park instead of extending outwards. She said the application did not offer adequate protection or mitigation to the existing community.

Chairman of the planning committee, Councillor Alan Mills, said: “I think we might be better served by a scheme coming back to us that is working around the trees, lower level lighting, the right barriers and mitigation in place and then I think it might find a willing committee.”

Five councillors voted for a refusal, three voted against a refusal and two abstained from voting.

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