The planning application was for up to 130 dwellings on Land to the South of Oundle Road, at East of England Showground, Oundle Road, with all matters reserved except for access.
The Head of Development and Construction provided an overview of the application and highlighted a number of key issues within the report and update report.
A motion was put forward and agreed by the Committee to extend the speaking time for speakers and to permit an additional speaker. The Committee agreed to the 10 minute extended speaking time and to allow Cambridgeshire County Councillor Roger Henson to speak on the item.
Councillor Aitken, speaking on behalf of Arena Drive residents, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· Residents in the main were not in objection to the planning application, however, wanted to raise concerns over road access points;
· Residents wished that the Committee consider implementation of a time restricted access for the proposed entrance at Joeseph Odam Way (JOW), for a future planning meeting; and
· There was a preference to the construction of an access point on Oundle Way.
Parish Councillor Iyer, speaking on behalf of Alwalton Parish Council addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· Concerns were raised over the A605 junction and the volume of traffic that may increase as a result of the development;
· Traffic approaching from the new development would not be given priority;
· It was estimated that 200 cars would need to gain access to through Lynchwood to get to schools during rush hour;
· Cars travelling from the A1 North and Chesterson could be at risk of traffic accidents due to anticipate congestion issues;
· Access points at the end of the East of England Showground and Joseph Odam Way was felt more appropriate;
· Concerns were raised with regards to the proposed traffic signals at the A605 junction. Alwalton benefits from free flowing traffic currently, however, the installation of traffic signals could cause traffic tailback and potentially traffic accidents;
· Concerns raised over the A605 junction and proposed grass verge increase; and
· Consideration should be given to the installation of a roundabout near the Marriot Hotel in order to filter traffic.
County Councillor Roger Henson, speaking on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The Parish Council had written to Peterborough City Council to outline their traffic congestions concerns in relation to the proposed development;
· There were already heavy traffic congestion issues near the Showground particularly during events such as Truckfest;
· The A605 was a high and wide route for heavy goods vehicles and a traffic light installation could cause significant traffic tailback and confusion for drivers;
· There were height restrictions at bridges surrounding the area, which would cause difficulties for high heavy goods vehicles should they divert from the normal route;
· Consideration should be given to install an alternative traffic management route through JOW and install a roundabout near the Marriott Hotel entrance; and
· Cambridge County Council (CCC) had not disagreed with the application, however, if was felt by the Parish Councillors (PCs) that the proposals had not been communicated to the respective CCC Committee meetings or raised appropriately with PCs for the area.
Roy Banham, Mark Sinlo and Liz Moore, Alwalton Villagers speaking in objection addressed the Committee in objection to the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· There had been some inconsistency over the number of properties contained in the initial planning proposals, which had been on display at Bayard Place;
· There would be traffic congestion issues if the proposals were to go ahead and residents did not agreed with the installation of traffic light signals;
· It was imperative for the traffic to be directed through JOW and not Alwalton;
· Concerns had been raised over the traffic proposals and potentially increase with the House of Commons to seek their view;
· Suggestions had been made to the Authority to install and Zebra Crossing on Royce Road leading to the Cuckoo Public House and was told that the Parish Council would be required to fund this option. The PC could not consider this option as there were inadequate funds;
· Residents were in the main not against the development. However, requested that consideration was given to installation of an entrance at the end of Oundle Road;
· The entrance at JOW should be a temporary measure for construction traffic to time limited use;
· Traffic generated on Oundle Road and A1 junction would produce grid lock and conservation issues for the village of Alwalton;
· The planning application should be rejected due to safety issues;
· The proposed installation of traffic lights at the Alwalton junction would cause the risk of accidents as traffic would turn right into stop go traffic;
· There had been no benefit for Alwalton villagers other than CIL money and residents would struggle with the increased traffic issues; and
· There had been a number of developments in the areas and that there were 1020 houses plus to the Lynchwood Estate; and
· Traffic light installation at the Alwalton Village junction would not deter increased traffic movement as the area currently experienced heavy traffic due to the access point from the A1 and A605 junction. Alwalton villagers would be in favour to the proposal if the A1 offshoot junction was closed off.
At this point Councillor Martin left the meeting briefly and decided not to take part in the discussions and vote.
David Henry and Nigel Eggar of Savills addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The principal development of the site had been well established in April 2012;
· The original plan included in the Local Plan for the construction of dwellings was being brought forward;
· There had been no technical objection raised;
· Alternative routes raised for access points had been explored and considered by the developers and Authority Officers, however had been found not feasible;
· The scheme had been concluded by Authority Officers as acceptable;
· The development had offered a number of benefits such as a foot and cycleway on the south side of Oundle Road, CIL and new homes bonus on Council Tax;
· Authority Officers had confirmed that the development would not impact on the Alwalton conservation area;
· The traffic signal junction was proposed to mitigate the traffic issues;
· Construction traffic management would be considered at the reserved matters stage of the planning application;
· The scheme was considered a fair and balanced scheme and had been reduced to the original proposal put forward; and
· The Committee was requested to endorse the Authority Officers recommendation and approve the application;
· Whilst the proposed traffic light junction would inherently result in queues, the road lay out plan would allow traffic to merge more freely onto Oundle Road.
· The future traffic impact rate had been taken into account using the highways model up to 2025 and it had been anticipated that the traffic queue length would increase by 21 vehicles to the back of a queue, which was felt to hold no relative impact;
· The alternative traffic management options considered included installation of a roundabout, however had been found unachievable due to the space required, the intrusive impact on the conservation area and the cost involved. The signal light installation, offered a better solution as it would allow for tactile paths and had been sympathetic to the conservation area;
· The option of the removal of a filter lane on the Oundle Road had been considered as the area was too small for a left hand slip road arrangement turning left into the village. Similarly the left hand exit slip road was far too long and a reduction of 80 metres should aid traffic flow; and
· Proposals for installation of an entrance on Joseph Odam Way had been rejected by Savills due to double land ownership issues. This option would require two roads to be constructed next to existing residential properties and on balance had not been feasible.
In response to questions raised by Members, the Chairman advised that a roundabout option had not been included in the planning application and therefore could not be considered by the Committee. The Principal Engineer (Highways) advised the proposal of a right exit leaving the development site to Oundle Road had been acceptable as the junction had adequate visibility splays when turning right, which was a priority for this area.
The Committee discussed the application noted that the application was an outline to the development and the housing numbers were acceptable and could accommodate 210 dwellings. The only objection had been to the access and egress, however highways Officer had found the proposals acceptable. The traffic light option had been an acceptable scheme in terms of traffic management for the development site.
A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation, subject to the conditions set out in the report, with authority to be delegated to the Corporate Director Growth and Regeneration to make any necessary or appropriate adjustments to these conditions including the imposition of new conditions, and the completion of a S106 Agreement. The motion was carried 9 for and 1 abstention.
RESOLVED: (9 for and 1 abstention) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to:
1) The conditions set out in the report, with authority to be delegated to the Corporate Director Growth and Regeneration to make any necessary or appropriate adjustments to these conditions including the imposition of new conditions; and
2) The completion of a S106 Agreement.
2.34pm - At this point Councillor Martin left meeting
Reasons for the decision
Subject to the imposition of the attached conditions, the proposal was acceptable having been assessed in the light of all material considerations, including weighing against relevant policies of the development plan and specifically:
The application site was allocated for development in the adopted Site Allocations DPD. The principle of locating housing on this site was therefore established. Subject to conditions and completion of a S106 Agreement the development would accord with policy CS8 of the adopted Core Strategy.
Notwithstanding the concerns that had been raised the new access into the site was considered to be acceptable in principle subject to the associated signalisation of the junction into Alwalton village. Subject to conditions therefore, the development was considered to comply with policy PP12 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.
Subject to a condition to create a buffer around it, it was considered that an acceptable relationship could be secured with 5-7 Oundle Road which was a listed building and that any harm caused would be less than substantial. It was considered that the signalisation of the junction into Alwalton village would have some impact upon the Alwalton Conservation Area which included a number of listed buildings but with the amended junction design this would be less than substantial. The harm to the heritage assets was outweighed by the benefits of the scheme namely the provision of housing and a safe highway network. The proposal was therefore considered to be acceptable in the context of the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework, sections 66 and 72 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act, policy CS17 of the adopted Core Strategy and policy PP17 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.
In principle it was considered that the site could be developed without any unacceptable adverse impact upon neighbour amenity and that it could afford the new occupiers a satisfactory level of amenity. The proposal therefore accords with policies PP3 and PP4 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.
Subject to conditions the site can be adequately drained. The development therefore accords with policy CS22 of the adopted Core Strategy DPD.
The application would not have any significant ecological impacts subject to conditions. The layout could also be designed to accommodate existing on site trees. The proposal therefore accorded with policy PP16 of the adopted Planning Policies DPD.
Affordable housing provision would be secured through the S106 Agreement and the development would also pay CIL. The proposal therefore accorded with policy CS13 of the adopted Core Strategy.