Issue - meetings

Waterbeach New Town Supplementary Planning Document

Meeting: 14/08/2018 - Scrutiny and Overview Committee (Item 7)

7 Waterbeach New Town Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) pdf icon PDF 187 KB

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In introducing the item, the Chairman explained that the Committee was concerned that given the size and complexity of the Waterbeach New Town SPD document and as it had not been made available to Members until 5 working days before the meeting, it had been given insufficient time to review and make a considered and informed response to Cabinet.  The Committee was therefore minded to recommend Cabinet to defer consideration at its meeting on 5 September 2018.  This would enable Scrutiny and Overview Committee to consider the item at its meeting on 18 September 2018. The Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development explained that if the Committee decided to defer this item, it would mean sending the report a month later to Cabinet and delaying the public consultation on the SPD. He outlined the consequences of delaying the consultation, including the impact on determining two planning applications noting that the Council’s ongoing 5 year housing land supply partly depends upon completions at Waterbeach new town from 2021/2022 onwards.


The Chairman accordingly invited the Committee to consider the Draft SPD. Comments raised by Members of on the document  included the following:-

  • The draft document lacked focus and did not drill down into the questions that the Council wished the consultees to respond to.  There was no indication of the ultimate objective of the consultation process.
  • The Foreword to the SPD indicated that there was more than one land owner and site promoter involved in the new town and that it was important that it should be delivered as a single unified development. However there was a concern to understand how the District Council could ensure that the objective of a single unified development was achieved. It was important that Members were clear about how this process would work and how the risk of disagreement between landowners/site promoters would be mitigated.
  • Pages 60 – 61 of the document set out the Strategic Development Objectives, however, there was a concern that these were vague aspirational statements and were not specific targets that could be measured.  For example, it was argued that the reference to “prioritisation of walking and cycling for local journeys” in objective 2 was not specific enough and should perhaps indicate that pedestrians and cyclists would have priority at every junction.  The reference to “high quality, innovative and distinctive design” in objective 4 was considered to be similarly vague and did not indicate the standards expected.  There was therefore a need to review the narrative in respect of the Strategic Development Objectives and make it more “hard edged”.
  • The Council needed to take account of the lessons learned from the developer-led approach of the Cambourne development.  Referring to the roles of new town commissions/development corporations in shaping the development of new towns in the past, the need for a masterplan for the new town with appropriate levels of enforceability, was emphasised.
  • It would have been useful for the Committee to have been provided with information on the relevant policy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7