Header - Cllr Swarbrick

Plans being discussed to make new estates greener

Building roads for new housing estates could have a lower impact on the environment in future thanks to a new approach being considered by Lancashire County Council.

As well as maintaining existing roads, one of the council's roles is to oversee how new roads are constructed, to make sure they're up to the standard needed to be looked after by the council in future.

The council's cabinet is looking at a new set of rules for developers to follow which will lead to reductions in CO2 when building roads, and also provides guidance on sustainable transport features such as cycle paths which are now part of many new estates.

The updated Estate Road Specification due to be considered on Thursday 19 January encourages the use of latest materials and techniques for construction of roads and paths, such as recycled products which can be laid 'cold', to reduce the use of traditional materials such as hot bitumen which have a higher carbon footprint.

County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Most housing developers want the roads they create when building new estates to be adopted by the county council and be publicly maintained in future.

"We have standards for how this should be done which are set out in our Estate Roads Specification, and the council will only take on roads which have been built to these standards.

"Since it was last updated in 2011 there have been significant developments in the highways industry, particularly focused on sustainability and carbon reduction.

"The way that features such as cycleways are constructed has evolved over the past decade and it's important that any new paths meet the latest standards.

"Our own highways team is increasingly using materials and techniques which reduce our impact on the environment when maintaining roads, and I'll be asking cabinet to agree this new policy aimed at encouraging developers to do the same."

The Estate Road Specification covers all aspects of highways construction, including roads and pavements, drainage, and streetlights.