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 into the development plan documents to take into account the infrastructure surrounding the water treatment works at Stansted Mountfitchet.
In response to a question from Councillor Dean, the Planning Policy Team Leader said officers could provide a note for the Scrutiny Committee as to the draft Sports Strategy’s approach to running tracks.
In response to a question from the Chairman, the Planning Policy Team Leader confirmed that the Heritage Impact Assessment also identified mitigation measures to sensitive heritage assets at Little Easton. The Chairman said it would be nice to recognise heritage at North Uttlesford and Easton Park in a more meaningful way. One possibility could be to recreate some of the oak-lined avenue at Easton Park or the deer park at North Uttlesford. The Planning Policy Team Leader said officers were looking to agree a statement of common ground with Historic England and potential changes could be agreed.
Councillor Dean said he would declare a personal non-pecuniary interest as his wife was a trustee of the Board of the Gardens of Easton Lodge.
The Chairman said he would like an update by officers about connectivity between North Uttlesford and Cambridge.
In response to a question from Councillor Lees said the Planning Policy Team Leader said he would find out why option 6 of the water cycle study which suggested upgrading the technology was not the preferred option.
Councillor Redfern spoke on this item. A copy of this statement is appended to these minutes.