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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive apologies for absence and declarations of interest.
Councillor Barker declared a non-pecuniary personal interest as a Member of Essex County Council.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider the report on the draft Statement of Community Involvement.
The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a summary of the report. The consultation on the amended Statement of Community Involvement had run for 6 weeks, and nine submissions had been received. Appendix 1 to the report recommended a number of changes to the Statement of Community Involvement to take into account the points that had been raised. Appendix 2 was an updated Statement of Community Involvement incorporating the proposed changes.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said officers would respond to a respondent to the consultation to follow up why she believed Uttlesford District Council had not been truthful.
Councillor Barker suggested that members of the public could register to be put onto a distribution list to get notified when consultations begin so as to avoid suggestions that the Council was not involving the public.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said it would be positive for every large community in Uttlesford to have neighbourhood plans.
Councillor Lees said it was important to look at how to encourage greater community involvement in the Statement of Community Involvement.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said officers would change the line ‘Every effort will be made to ensure that notification of neighbouring parish councils is undertaken by the officer concerned’ to ‘There is a firm commitment that henceforth adjoining parish councils will be informed.’ This would ensure parish councils were aware if applications were proposed in neighbouring districts.
Councillor Barker said it would be useful for district councilors to receive a weekly planning list to aid awareness of cross border issues. Councillor Loughlin said a paper list would be invaluable for parish councillors without computers. In response to this, the Chairman said the Council was aiming to go digital and so it would not be appropriate to send out paper lists. Councillor Dean said it would be useful for ward members to receive notification of major applications in neighbouring wards.
APPROVED to recommend to Cabinet that the Statement of Community Involvement be adopted subject to the changes as set out in the Report of Representations.
To consider the Evidence Base Update.
The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a summary of the report. This provided an update on the additional work that had been submitted to the Local Plan Inspectors. This additional work comprised the Water Cycle Study, the updated Heritage Impact Assessment, a preliminary concept and feasibility study looking at the potential for rapid transport links between Stansted and Braintree, and a study looking at the opportunities to enhance sustainable transport systems in the north of Uttlesford. The Sports Facilities and Recreation Strategy was still to follow.
In response to points raised by Councillor Redfern, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the Heritage Impact Assessment had identified mitigation measures to prevent disturbance of the setting of archaeological assets at Great Chesterford. The visual impact of the dominant landform of North Uttlesford would also be mitigated by measures proposed in the assessment.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said the bus route between Stansted Airport and Little Easton would not be accessible to other vehicles, and so would not be in any danger of being held up.
Councillor Barker said she received a lot of representations that raised the issue that after 6.30pm there were no buses available to go between Dunmow town centre and Stansted Airport. This was an issue that should be looked into.
The Chairman said it was important that a sustainable transport route be environmentally-friendly and encouraged people to use it. Councillor Dean noted that it would be important to recognize now how these schemes could be extended in the future so that these extensions could be planned for. Councillor Lodge said it was important to be ambitious with this scheme to ensure that the rapid transport scheme was rapid. The Chairman said the Council would return to this issue.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said there were ambitions in Cambridge to build a rapid transport system between Addenbrookes Hospital and Haverhill, to improve the A1307 and to connect the Arc from Oxford to the north of Cambridge. Uttlesford District Council and Cambridge City Council had had positive dialogue regarding connectivity with the Cambridge University and the Wellcome Trust.
In response to a question from Councillor Lodge, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the Water Cycle Study demonstrated that the need for water arising from the development identified in the Local Plan could be met. Using grey water would be looked at in the development plan documents.
In response to a Member question, the Planning Policy Team Leader said Thames Water had confirmed it was in communication with the developers for the Easton Park development. The Chairman said it was an important point to develop the technology around water.
Members noted that it was important not to plan just to the edge of the Uttlesford boundary, but to have a joined-up strategic vision.
In response to a member question, the Planning Policy Team Leader said option 8 in the Water Cycle Study was the preferred option. Councillor Dean asked that something be built ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Any Other Business
In response to a Member question, the Planning Policy Team Leader said questions asked by the Local Plan inspectors regarding the plan were similar to the questions that officers had been expected.
In response to a Member question, the Planning Policy Team Leader said another Planning Policy Working Group would be held to consider the finalised Sports Strategy.
The meeting ended at 7.15.