Agenda item

S/3440/18/OL - Bourn (Bourn Airfield)

 

Outline Planning Application (with all matters reserved except for access), for a new mixed use village comprising residential development of approximately 3500 dwellings; mixed uses comprising employment, retail, leisure, residential institutions; education, community facilities, open space including parks, ecological areas and woodlands, landscaping; engineering for foul and sustainable drainage systems; footpaths, cycle ways, public transport infrastructure; associated access and infrastructure. This application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment. 

Decision:

By affirmation, the Committee agreed to the following:

 

(a)  Condition 8 being amended to state ‘up to’ 3,500 dwellings

(b)  Condition 11 being amended to include within the site-wide phasing plan a requirement for the delivery by the end of the second year of development of a tree-planting scheme along the eastern boundary of the site adjoining Highfields Caldecote

(c)  Condition 43 being bolstered with a timetable for delivery

(d)  Condition 58 being strengthened to sufficiently manage the housing mix

(e)  An additional Condition requiring the mitigation of odours to the south west of the site

 

By nine votes to two (with Councillors John Batchelor and Peter Fane voting against) the Committee agreed to Condition 13 being reformatted with Option (ii) being deleted

 

By six votes to five, the Planning Committee

 

1.    gave officers delegated powers to approve Outline application S/3440/18/OL, as amended, subject to:

 

a.    The prior completion of a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 securing

 

                                               i.     the matters set out in the Heads of Terms attached as Appendix G to the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, with officers being granted delegated authority to negotiate, secure, and complete such Legal Agreement on terms as are otherwise considered to be appropriate and necessary; and

 

                                              ii.     any other Heads of Terms, or details, including phasing and triggers, that are still under negotiation.

 

b.    The explanatory notes and terms, Planning Conditions (as a,emded) and Informatives set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, subject to the following Conditions re-worded by officers in consultation with the Chair of the Planning Committee and Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19 February 2021.

 

Condition 11. Phasing

 

No development shall commence until a Site Wide Phasing Plan which accords with the s106 triggers and Transport Mitigation Strategy has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

It shall include the expected sequence of delivery of development within a Development Area, or sub area, or the provision of any other element or to any other applicable trigger point. No development shall Commence apart from Enabling Works or Associated Works or other works otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority until such time as the Development Area Phasing Plan has been approved in writing by the local planning authority. 

 

The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Phasing Plan unless there are unforeseen events / obstacles to delivery and alternative timing for provision is agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Phasing Plan shall, by written agreement with the Local Planning Authority, be updated from time-to-time to reflect increased certainty of delivery of infrastructure.

 

The Site Wide Phasing Plan shall include but not be limited to the sequence of providing the following elements: 

 

a) A framework masterplan

b) Residential development parcels; 

c) Local bus services;

d) Major distributor roads/routes within the site, including timing of provision and opening of access points into the site; 

e) Strategic footpaths and cycleways; 

f) Community facilities including the secondary school, primary schools and sports hubs (including pavilion and junior changing rooms; 

g) Strategic foul and surface water features and SUDS; 

h) Formal and informal public open space, park/square, allotments, community orchard and parks, NEAPs, LEAPs and SIPs; 

i) Strategic electricity, telecommunications and gas networks; 

j) Infrastructure for the provision of fibre optic cables; 

k) Biodiversity net gain;

l) Environmental mitigation measures.

m) Early delivery of structural planting, along boundaries with Highfields Caldecote, within years 0-2 of the development

 

Reason: To clarify how the site is to be phased to assist with the determination of subsequent reserved matters applications and in order to ensure that infrastructure provision and environmental mitigation are provided in time to cater for the needs and impacts arising out of the development, in accordance with Policy SS/7 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

                     Condition 13. Transport – 500 dwellings limit

 

                     No more than 500 dwellings shall be occupied unless:

 

(i)    The Strategic Transport Intervention has been delivered - with a Transport Assessment for the remaining phases demonstrating that the remaining development phases can be sustainably accommodated on the network. The Transport Assessment shall be to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority and meet Cambridgeshire County Council’s Transport Assessment requirements and will include the results of the ongoing site monitoring (as per a separate condition on Monitoring).

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is founded on the provision of significant improvements to public transport provision as listed in condition 6, in accordance with Policy SS/7 (8) (a) of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

                     Condition 43. – Foul water drainage strategy

 

Prior to the commencement of any development on any Development Parcel or Strategic Engineering and Landscape Element, apart from Enabling Works, a detailed site wide Foul Water Drainage Strategy shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the local planning authority. The strategy should include the phasing of such works. 

 

The strategy shall include details of any necessary improvement to the existing sewerage system, including a timetable for their delivery, to ensure that sufficient capacity exists to cater for the needs of the development. The works/scheme shall be constructed and completed in accordance with the approved plans/specification and such programme as may be specified in the approved scheme.

 

Reason: A detailed scheme for on-site and off-site foul water drainage is required prior to the commencement of any Development Parcel to ensure the appropriate provision of infrastrastructure to serve the new village, to prevent the increased risk of flooding and/or pollution of the water environment, and to ensure no surface or ground water infiltration in accordance with Policies SS/7 (10) (b), CC/7 and TI/8 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

Condition 70. – Odour (new Condition)

 

Before the strategic area of open space to the south of the site is brought into use a scheme for the assessment and mitigation of odour from the adjacent Bourn water recycling centre will be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include a timetable for the implementation of any mitigation.

 

Reason: In the interest of the amenity of users of the area of open space to the south of the site, in accordance with Policy SS/7 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

2.    gave officers delegated powers 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.

 

3.    Requested that officers present a summary / progress report on the Section 106 obligations to the Planning Committee in September 2021.

Minutes:

The Committee considered an application, as amended, seeking consent for the development of approximately 3,500 dwellings with associated other uses, drainage and other infrastructure, groundworks, landscaping, and highway works. The proposal formed part of the strategic allocation for a new village as set out in Policy SS/7 of the adopted South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018. To guide comprehensive development of the strategic site, South Cambridgeshire District Council had already produced a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) following engagement with key members, the local community, land promoters, technical consultees, and other stakeholders.

 

The Principal Planner (Strategic Sites) gave a short verbal update to Members. This related to:

 

·       The rewording of Condition 13 to refer to the Local Planning Authority

·       Discussions the applicant had had with Anglian Water and the Environment Agency in connection with foul water drainage (Condition 43).

 

He then made a presentation to Members in three distinct parts. The first part of the presentation covered

 

·       Drone footage of the development site

·       Confirmation that the principle of development had been established in accordance with the Local Plan and SPD

 

Part 2 of the presentation focussed on

 

·       Parameter plans the proposed Cambourne to Cambridge Busway (C2C)

·       Density

·       Monitoring

·       Land use

·       Draft Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and interim measures

 

Officers recognised the significance of C2C and had therefore devised a mitigation measure whereby the Local Planning Authority could pause any development beyond 500 dwellings if, by then, the Busway was not operational.

 

Concern was expressed about the existence of a six-storey building within the proposed village.

 

Members sought and received clarification about the modelling of journey times between the development site and Cambridge Science Park, and between the development site and the Addenbrookes Biomedical Campus. They also sought and received clarification about potential traffic calming measures to prevent ‘rat running’ through local villages.

 

In Part 3 of the presentation, the Principal Planner (Strategic Sites) focussed Members’ attention on the following

 

·       An indicative phasing plan

·       An indicative delivery / construction programme

·       A cross-section concept for the A428

·       Existing and proposed uses

·       Utilities

·       A draft Section 106 Agreement

·       Governance

·       Planning balance

 

In response to issues raised by the Chair, the Principal Planner (Strategic Sites) confirmed that the question of air quality would be addressed in the Conditions to be attached to the planning permission, if granted. He went on to say that the Government proposal to phase out the use of gas in due course was not a material planning consideration.

 

Members noted that the shown location for the allotments was indicative only, and that suitable provision would be made for burials.

 

The Principal Planner (Strategic Sites) referred Members to draft Condition 30 and said that, should sustainable elements of the proposal not materialise as anticipated, then there would be a sustainability review. He confirmed that the phasing of the delivery of affordable housing would be determined by a provision in the Section 106 Agreement. The Joint Housing Development Officer explained that there would be a variety of different tenures of which ‘affordable rent’ and ‘discounted market’ would remain affordable in perpetuity.

 

The Principal Planner (Strategic Sites) summarised the envisaged two-stage build out of the employment area. He also addressed Members’ concerns relating to foul and surface water drainage, odour, and specialist housing.

 

The following public speakers addressed the meeting:

 

·       Andrew Taylor (on behalf of the applicant developer)

·       Councillor Des O’Brien (Bourn Parish Council)

·       Councillor Chris Corcoran (Caldecote Parish Council)

·       Councillor Andrew Martin (Barton Parish Council)

·       Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins (local District Councillor)

·       County Councillor Tim Wotherspoon (mandated by Cambridgeshire County Council)

 

Points raised during the public speaking session included:

 

·       Concern about the reliance on C2C to secure the sustainability of the proposed development

·       Vehicular access from the proposed development onto the A428

·       Focus on the five-year land supply giving the impression that the proposed development was crucial even without any guarantee of sustainable transport infrastructure coming forward

·       Concern about flooding, and foul and surface water drainage

·       Traffic and traffic calming

·       Coalescence

·       Tree gap

·       The residential block towards the north east of the development site

·       Adequacy of Conditions

·       Ecology

 

Opening the Member debate, Councillor Anna Bradnam highlighted several draft Conditions and other aspects of the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development which, in her opinion, warranted attention. She feared that, were the application to be refused by Committee then a Planning Inspector might allow an Appeal without giving as much weight, if any, to the concerns raised by her. Councillor Bradnam noted that the application was predicated on there being a quality public transport system in place from the very start.

 

Committee members agreed with the opinion of the local Member (Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins) who had said that the final wording of Condition 13 must be determined by the Planning Committee itself and not by officers by virtue of delegation.

 

Councillor Grenville Chamberlain emphasised his wide-ranging concerns about transport and road safety, especially in view of anticipated ‘rat-running’ along narrow lanes in nearby villages and past several schools. He expressed great disappointment with Highway England’s opposition to securing vehicular access from the development site onto the A428. Councillor Chamberlain expressed concern about foul water drainage and about the wording of Condition 43.

 

Councillor Dr. Richard Williams shared misgivings about the impact of increased traffic, and was also concerned about density and the height of buildings, two of which were indicated as being of six storeys.

 

For Councillor Heather Williams, a major focus had to be on the Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It was essential, she said, that negotiations secured enough developer money to enable the early delivery of the infrastructure demanded by a brand-new village. And while the Section 106 Agreement was policy compliant in delivering 40% affordable housing, She was disappointed that only 20% might remain affordable in perpetuity. Transport and density were also of concern. Overall, Councillor Heather Williams considered that the harm caused by granting planning permission would outweigh the community benefits of doing so and that, therefore, the application was premature.

 

Regarding prematurity, Councillor Deborah Roberts agreed. She said that ensuring quality of life was of paramount importance. Councillor Roberts objected to there being even one six-storey building in the new village, and doubted whether the monitoring of transport issue would remain a priority in a few years’ time.

 

David Allatt and Dr. Jon Finney acknowledged Members’ concerns about transport, traffic and road safety but commented that the risks were not so severe as to warrant an objection being raised by Cambridgeshire County Council as Local Highways Authority.

 

Councillor Eileen Wilson said that, if a quality public transport system were not in place from the outset and future residents got into the habit of using private motor vehicles, it would become increasingly difficult to achieve modal shift. Councillor Wilson also requested that an evaluation of odour emissions to the south west of the development site be carried out.

 

Condition 13(ii) was a concern for both Councillor Geoff Harvey and Councillor Dr. Martin Cahn. Councillor Harvey said that, until C2C had been delivered, priority should be given to the use of electric buses. Councillor Cahn agreed with Councillor Wilson that the absence of C2C made modal shift challenging but welcomed the intention to monitor transport and highway safety issues as development progressed.

 

A more positive note though was struck by Councillor Peter Fane. He considered the proposal to be high quality in principle and, while there were clearly some detailed concerns, these could be addressed at the Reserved Matters stage. Councillor Fane was satisfied that reviewing progress after the completion of the first 500 dwellings was perfectly manageable.

 

Concluding the main part of the debate, the Chair reminded Committee members that the application before them was Outline only, and related to a strategic site that had been allocated for development in the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018. He acknowledged Members’ concerns and ensured them that they would have an opportunity to discuss them again when the Reserved Matters application was presented to the Planning Committee in due course.

 

Members then considered in some detail the matters raised at the beginning of the debate by Councillor Anna Bradnam. By affirmation, the Committee agreed to the following:

 

(a)  Condition 8 being amended to state ‘up to’ 3,500 dwellings

(b)  Condition 11 being amended to include within the site-wide phasing plan a requirement for the delivery by the end of the second year of development of a tree-planting scheme along the eastern boundary of the site adjoining Highfields Caldecote

(c)  Condition 43 being bolstered with a timetable for delivery

(d)  Condition 58 being strengthened to sufficiently manage the housing mix

(e)  An additional Condition requiring the mitigation of odours to the south west of the site

 

By nine votes to two (with Councillors John Batchelor and Peter Fane voting against) the Committee agreed to Condition 13 being reformatted with Option (ii) being deleted

 

Turning to the substantive motion, as amended, and by six votes to five, the Planning Committee

 

1.    gave officers delegated powers to approve Outline application S/3440/18/OL, as amended, subject to:

 

a.    The prior completion of a Legal Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 securing

 

                                               i.     the matters set out in the Heads of Terms attached as Appendix G to the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, with officers being granted delegated authority to negotiate, secure, and complete such Legal Agreement on terms as are otherwise considered to be appropriate and necessary; and

 

                                              ii.     any other Heads of Terms, or details, including phasing and triggers, that are still under negotiation.

 

b.    The explanatory notes and terms, Planning Conditions (as a,emded) and Informatives set out in the report from the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, subject to the following Conditions re-worded by officers in consultation with the Chair of the Planning Committee and Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19 February 2021.

 

Condition 11. Phasing

 

No development shall commence until a Site Wide Phasing Plan which accords with the s106 triggers and Transport Mitigation Strategy has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

It shall include the expected sequence of delivery of development within a Development Area, or sub area, or the provision of any other element or to any other applicable trigger point. No development shall Commence apart from Enabling Works or Associated Works or other works otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority until such time as the Development Area Phasing Plan has been approved in writing by the local planning authority. 

 

The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Phasing Plan unless there are unforeseen events / obstacles to delivery and alternative timing for provision is agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Phasing Plan shall, by written agreement with the Local Planning Authority, be updated from time-to-time to reflect increased certainty of delivery of infrastructure.

 

The Site Wide Phasing Plan shall include but not be limited to the sequence of providing the following elements: 

 

a) A framework masterplan

b) Residential development parcels

c) Local bus services

d) Major distributor roads/routes within the site, including timing of provision and opening of access points into the site

e) Strategic footpaths and cycleways

f) Community facilities including the secondary school, primary schools and sports hubs (including pavilion and junior changing rooms

g) Strategic foul and surface water features and SUDS

h) Formal and informal public open space, park/square, allotments, community orchard and parks, NEAPs, LEAPs and SIPs

i) Strategic electricity, telecommunications and gas networks

j) Infrastructure for the provision of fibre optic cables

k) Biodiversity net gain

l) Environmental mitigation measures

m) Early delivery of structural planting, along boundaries with Highfields Caldecote, within years 0-2 of the development

 

Reason: To clarify how the site is to be phased to assist with the determination of subsequent reserved matters applications and in order to ensure that infrastructure provision and environmental mitigation are provided in time to cater for the needs and impacts arising out of the development, in accordance with Policy SS/7 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

                     Condition 13. Transport – 500 dwellings limit

 

                     No more than 500 dwellings shall be occupied unless:

 

(i)    The Strategic Transport Intervention has been delivered - with a Transport Assessment for the remaining phases demonstrating that the remaining development phases can be sustainably accommodated on the network. The Transport Assessment shall be to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority and meet Cambridgeshire County Council’s Transport Assessment requirements and will include the results of the ongoing site monitoring (as per a separate condition on Monitoring).

 

Reason: To ensure that the development is founded on the provision of significant improvements to public transport provision as listed in condition 6, in accordance with Policy SS/7 (8) (a) of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

                     Condition 43. – Foul water drainage strategy

 

Prior to the commencement of any development on any Development Parcel or Strategic Engineering and Landscape Element, apart from Enabling Works, a detailed site wide Foul Water Drainage Strategy shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the local planning authority. The strategy should include the phasing of such works. 

 

The strategy shall include details of any necessary improvement to the existing sewerage system, including a timetable for their delivery, to ensure that sufficient capacity exists to cater for the needs of the development. The works/scheme shall be constructed and completed in accordance with the approved plans/specification and such programme as may be specified in the approved scheme.

 

Reason: A detailed scheme for on-site and off-site foul water drainage is required prior to the commencement of any Development Parcel to ensure the appropriate provision of infrastructure to serve the new village, to prevent the increased risk of flooding and/or pollution of the water environment, and to ensure no surface or ground water infiltration in accordance with Policies SS/7 (10) (b), CC/7 and TI/8 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

Condition 70. – Odour (new Condition)

 

Before the strategic area of open space to the south of the site is brought into use a scheme for the assessment and mitigation of odour from the adjacent Bourn water recycling centre will be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include a timetable for the implementation of any mitigation.

 

Reason: In the interest of the amenity of users of the area of open space to the south of the site, in accordance with Policy SS/7 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.

 

2.    gave officers delegated powers 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.

 

3.    Requested that officers present a summary / progress report on the Section 106 obligations to the Planning Committee in September 2021.

 

Supporting documents: