Whilst the Government announced lockdown measures back in March in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, the DfT were quick to encourage local authorities to turn a blind eye to sites, especially foodstores, being serviced in breach of current planning conditions.

This has provided an opportunity for sites to come forward with variation of condition applications to provide additional flexibility to site operations. Sites are able to be subject to applications to vary the servicing hours or number of servicing movements. These applications will require consultation with Highway Officers, due to the potential impacts on the local highway network, though in residential areas, these conditions are likely to be imposed for residential amenity reasons, usually involving Environmental Health Officers more concerned about potential noise impacts (services provided by our partner company Air & Acoustic) arising from increased/amended delivery periods.

mode transport planning are pleased to have assisted a client with an application to vary conditions relating to servicing hours and number of servicing vehicles per day.  The site in question was located in a local centre, surrounded by residential properties, including those located above a store.  mode, contributed a Delivery and Servicing Plan, recommending that the client sought to amend the condition from a from 3.5 hour cumulative period during the weekday morning peak or evening delivery windows to allow for servicing across the 07:00 – 23:00 opening hours for the site (including weekends and bank holidays), excluding a 1.5 hour period during the weekday evening peak hour.

In addition, the number of deliveries to the site was doubled, to allow for two HGVs to service the site per day.  This extended delivery window provides greater flexibility for the client in terms of scheduling deliveries, and allowing more room to manoeuvre in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The DSP was updated to account for feedback from the Highway Officer, with a concession agreed with the client and LHA to avoid the evening peak period for servicing.  Given the wider benefits for the client, this is considered a great success for the site’s operation.

It is considered that the same approach can be utilised at the majority of sites across the country, particularly those subject to onerous conditions. If you have a site subject with restrictive planning conditions, feel free to contact mode transport planning and we can advise how things could be improved to benefit the site operation and flexibility.

Key contacts:

   Mark Fitzgerald      David Frisby     Ben Fairgrieve     Mark Edwards