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 were received from Councillors A Gray, J Silverstone and R Yates.
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).
Councillor D Bowater declared an interest as a permanent member of the Central Bedfordshire Development Management Committee and would not vote on any applications likely to come before that committee.
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(e)(f)(g) and 3(h).
A member of the public spoke to express concerns about the siting of a bus shelter on Derwent Road, in what some residents considered an unsafe location. This was due to proximity to a bend in the road and a history of drivers hitting the existing bus stop and signage. It was felt the bus stop/shelter was in a little-used location and closer than necessary to other bus stops (three within approximately 650metres). Residents wanted their concerns about potential safety risk to those using the bus stop/shelter to be recorded in case of any future incidents.
The Committee thanked the member of the public for attending and agreed to write to the principal authority to pass on the concerns regarding safety.
(a) To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning and Transport Committee meeting held on 23 November 2022 (attached), in accordance with Standing Order 12.
(b) To receive information updates on matters arising from the previous meeting (if appropriate).
(a) The Committee received the minutes of the Planning and Transport Committee meeting held on 23 November 2022. There was one amendment, that Councillor Bowater was now a permanent member rather than a permanent substitute on the Central Bedfordshire Development Management Committee.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning and Transport Committee meeting held 23 November 2022 be approved as a correct record, subject to the amendment above, and were signed accordingly.
(b) Updates from the previous meeting: none.
The Committee considered application reference CB/22/04298/OUT (ASTRAL GREEN, LAND SOUTH OF LEIGHTON ROAD, STANBRIDGE/BILLINGTON). Whilst not within the parish boundary, it was acknowledged that any residents on this site would look towards the town for its services and facilities. A number of concerns were expressed regarding the application, in particular its location in the Green Belt without mitigating “exceptional circumstances” sufficient to override established plan policies. It was agreed to strongly object to the application.
RESOLVED to recommend to Central Bedfordshire Council that objection be made to application reference CB/22/04298/OUT (Astral Green, land south of Leighton Road, Stanbridge/Billington) on the following grounds:
- The land is designated Green Belt and no special circumstances demonstrated to override its policy status
- Land is not designated for development in the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan
- The land is currently a natural boundary between the town and surrounding villages
- The development would by virtue of its height and siting be highly visible and thereby have a detrimental impact on the landscape character of the area
- Contrary to the NPPF regarding Green Belt and protection of the countryside from encroachment
- Concerns regarding congestion and safety at the proposed A505 access
- The development would add to the existing pressures on town services including health, education and traffic/transport but without adding any infrastructure benefit such as community space
- The proposed health hub location is considered too far outside the town and would in any case require commitment from the relevant authorities to fund the building and staffing of a hub
The Committee considered application CB/21/05691/RM (CHAMBERLAINS BARN QUARRY) and noted the responses submitted by the developer following the previous consultation. The Committee felt that most comments made in March 2022 remained salient despite the responses made by the developer
RESOLVED to recommend to Central Bedfordshire Council that objection be made to planning application reference CB/21/05691/RM (Chamberlains Barn Quarry) on the following grounds:
(i) The plans indicate high density development without meaningful amenity or informal open space provision despite the reference to “pocket parks” which are not considered appropriate by virtue of their size, lack of play equipment and the potential to encourage noise and general disturbance given their juxtaposition to residential properties.
(ii) Concerns regarding proposals for tree planting to be within the curtilage of individual properties, which appeared to have small frontages
(iii) Concerns regarding proposed parking adjacent to houses
(iv) Insufficient information regarding safe access to walking and cycling routes within the development site and linking to the wider town
The Committee discussed application reference CB/22/04558/RM (COUNTRY PARK, CHAMBERLAINS BARN). As no management plan was provided, future intentions were unclear and a number of comments/queries were made in respect of the future management and maintenance of the country park.
RESOLVED that no objection be made to application reference CB/22/04558/RM (Country Park, Chamberlains Barn) but the Town Council would ask that consideration be given to the following ... view the full minutes text for item 360/P
(a) S Lakin of Central Bedfordshire Council will attend the meeting as part of the community engagement process regarding the draft Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan. Councillors are asked to flag up any issues within their wards which may be holding people back from walking and cycling.
Individual comments can also be submitted via the Central Bedfordshire website: https://centralbedfordshire.commonplace.is/en-GB/map/comment-on-leighton-linslade
(b) To consider any other matters relating to highways/transport (if appropriate).
(a) By invitation, S Lakin of Central Bedfordshire Council attended the meeting to advise the Committee of the opportunity to input into the current consultation exercise on walking and cycling routes in the town, which would help inform the development of a draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. The background to this was the Government’s Gear Change strategy which called for 50% of local journeys to be undertaken by walking, cycling or scooting by 2030. The strategy also called for high standards of new infrastructure, with separation of users where possible (but this required a 5m width to allow 3m for cyclists and 2m for pedestrians).
The online consultation was a scalable map of the town where users could add comments and suggestions at a detailed level, for example improvements to footpaths or additions of dropped kerbs, to encourage walking and cycling. Users could also agree or not agree with comments other users had made on the map.
The result would be a detailed list of improvements to help inform any changes to the network as well as planned improvements for the next Local Transport Plan. The intention would be to add value to planned road closures by undertaking those improvements when other highways works were scheduled.
The consultation would be open for a further four weeks and ward members were encouraged to add detailed comments for their own wards.
In response to specific queries raised by Committee, it was confirmed that work was underway to add missing sections of footpath on Stanbridge Road and Billington Road. Issues in the vicinity of Southcott Lower School had no obvious solution but one possibility would be to restrict traffic movement at specific times of day, as had previously been trialled at several schools during the Covid pandemic.
It was noted that some modes of transport were wider than others (e.g. tricycles, mobility scooters) and this needed to be taken into consideration. The issue of parking enforcement was also raised as a concern, as vehicles parking half on, half off the road or entirely on the footpath were already a barrier to walking and cycling safely.
Mr Lakin was thanked for attending the meeting.
(b) Other transport matters:
A number of concerns were raised regarding roads which were not being gritted during the current cold spell, including the new eastern relief road which was not yet adopted, as well as several bus routes. It was agreed to contact Central Bedfordshire Council to request these routes be added to the priority salting network.
There were no information items to report.