I have a tabled public question to Cambridgeshire County Council due for spoken answer at their full council meeting on 16 February 2016 at Shire Hall, Cambridge. It is as follows:
“The Severn Place Development received planning approval on 03 Feb 2016 from Cambridge City Council councillors on the casting vote of the planning committee chair. The previous evening at a meeting of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, campaign officers stated that county council officials as statutory consultees had not raised objections regarding transport access even though in the opinion of the campaign in their submission to the planning process, there were clear concerns.
Quotations reported from the planning hearing reported on social media indicated that councillors had concerns about transport access as well, but because the county council as the transport authority had not raised these, they as councillors had their hands tied. Refusing an application on transport grounds where the county council had not raised objections would make such a refusal straight forward to overturn by a planning inspector.
Two former city councillors – Mr Tim Ward and Mr Colin Rosenstiel posted on social media that this was not the first time the county council as statutory consultees had failed to raise objections on transport access on planning applications heard by Cambridge City Council.
I would therefore like to hear whether:
1) it is the opinion of the county council transport officers that they had no issues with transport access to that site
2) whether there are any possible procedural changes that allow for their assessment to be challenged before it is submitted/finalised as statutory consultees
3) whether transport officers feel they have sufficient capacity to carry out the functions required of them as statutory consultees – and if not whether the county council can increase their resources or perhaps move to a system where officers can crowd-source the much needed scrutiny function needed until such a time that local government resources can be increased to enable them to carry out their statutory duties.”
This relates to this planning application approved by councillors recently
Here’s the answer from Cllr Roger Hickford