Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1HD
Contact: Committee Officer 01525 631920 & Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor F Kharawala and from Councillor A Gray (substituted by Councillor S Owen).
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
(i) Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.
(ii) Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).
Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.
No declarations were made and no dispensations had been requested.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)
To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order Nos 3(f) and 3(g).
A member of the public spoke to express concern about the traffic gridlock on the town’s inner ring road and the question of whether priority should be given to vehicular traffic or pedestrians. The resident had undertaken his own “survey” of traffic issues on West Street and Bridge Street, which indicated significant periods of near stationary traffic. A question was asked about whether the old railway bridge over the canal could potentially be used for vehicular traffic.
To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning & Transport Committee meeting held on 20 November 2019.
The Committee received the minutes of the Planning and Transport Committee meeting held on 20 November 2019.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning and Transport Committee meeting held 20 November be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.
To consider Planning Applications received (attached). An updated list will be issued on Friday 6 December 2019 (if applicable).
The Committee reviewed applications received up until 6 December 2019.
Discussion took place regarding application reference CB/19/03861 (19 The Maltings). The proposed loss of garage prompted concerns over lack of car parking in an area which was already cramped. It was however recognised that other properties in the vicinity had undertaken similar extensions.
RESOLVED to recommend to Central Bedfordshire Council that no objection be made to application reference CB/19/03861 (19 The Maltings), subject to Central Bedfordshire car parking standards being met.
Discussion took place regarding application reference CB/19/03909 (The Brambles, Vandyke Road). The reduction in the proposed number of dwellings was noted and previous concerns regarding overdevelopment of the site were mitigated. It was however felt that as the land was currently designated Green Belt and that no very special circumstances had been given to justify development, the application was contrary to current policy. In addition, it was understood that Central Bedfordshire had sufficient land allocated for at least a five year housing supply, if not longer.
RESOLVED to recommend to Central Bedfordshire Council that objection be made to application reference CB/19/03909 (The Brambles, Vandyke Road) on the grounds that the land is presently designated Green Belt and no very special circumstances to justify development had been offered sufficient to override established plan policy. Should Central Bedfordshire Council be minded to approve the application, the Town Council would seek assurance that sufficient affordable housing be included and that the development would meet Central Bedfordshire car parking standards.
RESOLVED to recommend to Central Bedfordshire Council that no objection be made to the following planning applications:
1. CB/19/03741 27 MENTMORE GARDENS, LINSLADE
2. CB/19/03793 34 LINWOOD GROVE
3. CB/19/03821 HOCKLIFFE STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
4. CB/19/03529 DOVERY DOWN LOWER SCHOOL
5. CB/19/03922 ROSEDENE, BOSSINGTON LANE
6. CB/19/03429 13 CHURCHILL ROAD
7. CB/19/04013 52 THE PADDOCKS, LINSLADE
RESOLVED to note the following works to trees
HEATH AND DUKES RIDE
(a) By invitation, Central Bedfordshire Council officers will attend the meeting to discuss traffic flow issues.
(b) To consider any other matters relating to highways/transport (if appropriate).
Councillor S Owen introduced the discussion on traffic congestion, particularly on West Street, further to the Motion previously brought to committee. It was hoped that a solution could be sought which would reconcile pedestrian safety with traffic movement. Discussion took place regarding the history of the crossings and the fact that Highways had been consulted on a number of occasions regarding traffic flow, particularly at the crossing at Bridge Street/West Street.
Mr Hughes spoke to confirm that Central Bedfordshire Council was willing to agree to a temporary trial of a push button crossing at the Bridge Street/West Street junction. It was suggested that this take place on a Friday and Saturday as potentially the busiest days of the week. Design work would need to be done to consider how to temporarily decommission the zebra crossing, have someone present to monitor safety and to use traffic systems and CCTV footage to help measure the impact of the trial.
It was noted that the town was teetering on the edge of capacity all the time and any issues such as temporary roadworks made the situation critical, resulting in gridlock.
The high proportion of pedestrian crossings was noted and safety concerns were raised in respect of the crossing on the canal bridge, due to poor visibility, particularly when pedestrians approached from the canal side. The question was asked as to whether a barrier could be placed at that crossing, which would stop pedestrians and cyclists from going straight onto the crossing without stopping first.
The question was asked as to whether an underpass might be a viable alternative to a crossing but recognised that challenges such as the flood plain and cost implications might make this impossible.
Discussion took place regarding the School Travel Plan for Leighton Middle School and whether, as part of the planning application to expand the school capacity some years ago, any agreement or condition had been established to have a lollipop control on the pedestrian crossing.
It was noted that changes in the educational landscape in the next few years as part of the Schools for the Future programme might have implications but the detail of this was as yet unknown.
The question was asked as to whether a town-wide travel plan or framework existed at Central Bedfordshire Council and the point made that a comprehensive study of the town should be undertaken, as the traffic flow issues extended beyond the section of West Street under discussion.
RESOLVED to ask Central Bedfordshire Council for costs to undertake a temporary trial of a controlled crossing at the West Street/Bridge Street junction.
RECOMMENDED to the Policy and Finance Committee to endorse the use of Highways Schemes earmarked reserves (9056/920) to fund a temporary trial of a controlled crossing at the West Street/Bridge Street junction.
To receive and consider any items of information received (if applicable).
The Committee was advised of correspondence from Historic England in respect of listing the Linslade War Memorial.
It was noted that repairs to the memorial were due to be undertaken and agreed to notify Historic England of this.
(i) To notify Historic England that repairs needed to be undertaken to the Linslade War Memorial to ensure its stability.
(ii) That consideration be given to removal of the two conifer trees at Linslade Memorial Garden to help ensure the stability of the war memorial.