Gloucestershire Blackspot Is Wrong Place For Care Unit

A Care home’s application to take over a building next to a notorious A48 accident blackspot has been refused planning permission.

Stepping Stones Resettlement Unit had applied to turn Dean Grange, a six-bedroom property near the Elton Corner junction with the A4151, into a secondary care unit.

But district councillors followed planners’ recommendations for refusal on grounds of road safety.

Planners highlighted the increased vehicle movements and the “intensification of access” onto a fast stretch of the road, which has a 50mph speed limit.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said they supported refusal of the application, adding: “There have been 12 accidents in the last five years here and this is an accident cluster spot.

“Since the last application there have been a further five accidents as well.”

But Coun George Read (Ind, Mitcheldean and Drybrook) said it was unfair to label that stretch of road an accident blackspot.

He said: “We are all concerned about Elton Corner and accident records, but we have not seen enough evidence of accidents that directly relate to this property being here.

“There’s good access with good visibility and this property has been in use for some time.”

Coun Maria Edey (Con, Coleford East) said there was a significant potential danger in placing a site near to the busy junction by the Elton Corner petrol station.

And Coun Norman Stephens (Ind, Newnham and Westbury) added: “This is a difficult application and it does not appear enough has been done about the highways problem to allow it.”

Peter Radley, of Westbury Parish Council, said: “We think it’s right in principle for the parish to have care homes, we just don’t think this one is in the right place.

“This is just not suitable given the speed of traffic that travels along the road.

“It’s not fair to neighbours or the community because it’s such a dangerous spot.”