Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Extraordinary meeting (Wellcome Trust), Planning Committee - Thursday, 24 October 2019 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Ian Senior, 03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk  Members of the public wishing to speak at this meeting are requested to contact the Support Officer by no later than noon on Monday before the meeting. A public speaking protocol applies.

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence from committee members. 

Minutes:

Councillors Judith Rippeth, Deborah Roberts and Peter Topping sent Apologies for Absence. Councillor Henry Batchelor substituted for Councillor Rippeth. 

2.

Declarations of Interest

 

1.         Disclosable pecuniary interests (“DPI”)

A  DPI is where a committee member or his/her spouse or partner has any kind of beneficial interest in the land under consideration at the meeting.

 

 2.        Non-disclosable pecuniary interests

These are interests that are pecuniary involving a  personal financial benefit or detriment but do not come within the definition of a DPI.  An example would be where a member of their family/close friend (who is not their spouse or partner) has such an interest.

 

3.         Non-pecuniary interests

Where the interest is not one which involves any personal financial benefit or detriment to the Councillor but arises out of a close connection with someone or some  body /association.  An example would be membership of a sports committee/ membership of another council which is involved in the matter under consideration.

Minutes:

Councillor Nick Wright declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute 4 (S/4329/18/OL - Hinxton (Wellcome Genome Campus Hinxton Saffron Walden, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1RQ)). As Planning Portfolio Holder under the previous Administration, Councillor Wright had been involved with the early stages of the process culminating in the current planning application.

3.

Recorded voting

Minutes:

Upon the proposal of Councillor Brian Milnes, seconded by Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn, the Committee unanimously agreed that all substantive votes at the current Planning Committee meeting should be recorded by name and / or number and name.

4.

S/4329/18/OL - Hinxton (Wellcome Genome Campus Hinxton Saffron Walden, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1RQ) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

 

Outline planning permission with all matters reserved for a phased, mixed use development comprised of up to 150,000 square metres of Gross External Area (GEA) of flexible employment uses including research and development, office and workspace and associated uses falling within Use Classes B1 (office, laboratories, light industry), B2 (general industrial) and B8 (Storage) uses; up to 1,500 residential dwellings (Use Class C3); supporting community uses and social infrastructure including a nursery (Use Classes D1); conference facility (Use Class D1) and associated hotel (Use Class C1); retail uses including shops (Use Class A1), restaurants and cafes (Use Class A3) and bars (Use Class A4); leisure uses (Use Class D2); landscape and public realm, including areas for sustainable urban drainage and biodiversity enhancements; energy centre and utilities; site access (vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian), car and cycle parking and highways improvements; early landscape and enabling works; and associated works. (This application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment)

 

Appendices A to P are contained in a supplementary agenda. Appendix Q is available on the Council’s website: type (or copy and paste) the following short link into a web browser and press Enter

 

https://bit.ly/2oLv5Op

Additional documents:

Decision:

By eight votes to one, the Planning Committee endorsed approval of the Outline application subject to:

 

a)    Consultation with, and confirmation from, the Secretary of State that the application is not to be called in for his determination;

 

b)    The planning conditions set out in Appendix A to the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development and as set out on the Update report:

 

(i)            Condition 9 being amended

(ii)           Condition 51 being deleted

(iii)          Further consideration of conditions regarding sustainability and water and the emerging LP

 

and the final wording of any significant amendments to conditions being agreed by officers in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman prior to the issuing of the Decision Notice;

 

c)    The prior completion of a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to include the Heads of Terms as set out in the report, and any other Heads of Terms or the detail including phasing and triggers, that are still under negotiation. The final wording of any significant amendments to the Heads of Terms listed in the report to be agreed in consultation with the Chairman and Vice- Chairman; and

 

d)    Delegated authority being given to officers to set out as part of the decision notice and in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (EIA) Regulations 2017, reg. 29 ‘information to accompany decisions’ a reasoned conclusion of the significant effects of the development on the environment and to carry out appropriate notification under reg. 30 accordingly.

 

(Councillors Henry Batchelor, John Batchelor, Bradnam, Cahn, Fane, Heylings, Milnes and Wright voted to approve the application. Councillor Heather Williams voted to refuse)

Minutes:

The case officer gave a detailed overview of the application. Following a brief discussion during which officers addressed several points of clarification raised by Members, the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development reminded Members that they must confine their deliberations to the current application. The Council had followed the regulations governing cumulative impact assessment set out in the Environmental Impact Assessments Regulations.

 

The Chairman reminded Members to have regard to the briefings to which they had all been invited.

 

The following public speakers addressed the meeting:

 

·         Dr. Emma Senior (objector)

·         Professor Sir Mike Stratton (for the applicant)

·         Councillor Graham Fagg (Hinxton Parish Council)

·         Councillor Edward Harris (Duxford Parish Council)

·         Councillors Dr. David Bard and Jayne Merrick (Sawston Parish Council - shared)

·         Councillor Terry Sadler (Ickleton Parish Council)

·         Councillor Peter McDonald (local Member)

 

Members recognised the significant opportunity created by this application but were mindful of the fact that it would also lead to a fundamental change to the character of the local area. Members also recognised that the Wellcome Trust was a world leader in this field and that, should planning permission not be granted for this site, then it was likely that the business would have no alternative but to relocate overseas.

 

The Member debate focussed on the following points:

 

·         Flooding, drainage and water

·         Concern that the homes forming part of the application should remain associated with the research facility and its employees in perpetuity (possibly as rented accommodation), and should not be sold on the open market

·         The need to consider the application in the context of new targets for carbon emissions

·         The importance of balancing any perceived harm caused by the planning application with the importance to the U.K. as a whole of the research being carried out by the Wellcome Trust

·         Traffic and transport in the immediate area

·         Bio-diversity

·         An aspiration that the development be exemplar

·         Landscape and heritage issues

·         The loss of agricultural land

·         Electricity supply

·         The possibility of incorporating so-called green balconies

In response to the concern about the housing element, the Director of Planning and Economic Development said that the housing was not intended to meet district-wide need but instead the housing element formed part of the economic basis for the wider application. On-site housing would “internalise” the need for private car usage. He added though that the houses needed to be capable of being mortgaged meaning that any restrictions had to be limited and reasonable. A degree of “staircasing out” was therefore inevitable.

 

Following further discussion, and by eight votes to one, the Planning Committee resolved to approve the Outline application subject to:

 

a)    Consultation with, and confirmation from, the Secretary of State that the application is not to be called in for his determination;

 

b)    The planning conditions set out in Appendix A to the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development and as set out on the Update report:

 

(i)            Condition 9 being amended

(ii)          Condition 51 being deleted

(iii)         Further consideration of conditions regarding sustainability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.