Highways officials have withdrawn their objection to a plan to explore for oil on the Isle of Wight.
Island Roads, the organisation which manages local highways, had previously recommended that a planning application by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) at Arreton be refused.
It said the site, on the A3506 between Newport and Sandown, may be a hazard to road users.
Officials had criticised the plans for unacceptable visibility splays and junction, as well as inadequate access, parking and turning area and insufficient information on issues such as drainage and access by large vehicles.
In October 2020, UKOG published revised plans which included a new access. UKOG said this “achieved the required visibility”.
A response from Island Roads was published online today.
It said the revised scheme was acceptable, providing UKOG met nine conditions including on traffic management, drainage, keeping the highway clean, signage, road conditions, protecting public rights of way and dealing with very large vehicles.
On the new junction, Alan White, highway development control manager, said:
“it is no longer anticipated that this application will result in an increase in the potential for traffic accidents on the A3056 about the point of the proposed site access”.
The new plans have removed gates and bollards from the immediate junction with the A3056. Vehicles were not now likely to block the public highway when they waited at the gates to enter the site, Mr White said.
“As a result, the proposed junction arrangement is now deemed to be acceptable from a gate setback and standing vehicles perspective.”
Mr White also said the revised plans now provided the required forward visibility and adequate space for access, leaving, turning and loading. But he said the visibility splays must not be blocked and the site could not be occupied until the required sight lines had been provided.
UKOG’s new plans allow for 20 parking spaces for staff cars. Mr White said:
“These will need to be made available for use throughout the build, operation and decommissioning stage should the application be approved.”
If the scheme were approved, UKOG should be required to avoid traffic movements at peak times from 7.30am-9am and 4pm-6pm, he said.
The public will have a chance to comment on the revised plans in a new consultation which runs from early January until 12 February 2021.
Details of the application are on the Isle of Wight Council planning website.