I am fortunate to be amongst a very small number of people in Essex who sit on two Planning Committees, but very unfortunate that both the UDC and Essex committees are advised by the woeful ECC Highways Department.
We have recently had two parallel situations where in one, the Highways Department advised that a potentially dangerous junction near Witham was safe; a junction which will be used by thousands of massive lorries from a new minerals site. We members were not so sure, so we deferred the application last month and reviewed it again this week. The Highways Department came back with major modifications to the junction and commented that they had now inspected the junction properly (Google maps have a lot to answer for).
In the second, HD sanctioned access to a new development site in Great Chesterford whilst ignoring Essex Design Guidelines and the very real concerns of Residents.
I proposed deferral of the decision to the next UDC Meeting and demanded that HD actually turn up at this meeting to justify their methodology and decision making.