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Decision details

19/31PnT Making Space for People: Vision, Principles & Strategies - Working towards a Supplementary Planning Document

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To approve the draft Supplementary Planning Document for public consultation.


Matter for Decision


The report referred to the public consultation for the Making Space for People interim consultation for work to inform a future Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  The interim consultation document will be consulted for a period of six weeks, ensuring the needs and aspirations of communities and stakeholders were understood and taken into account in drafting the Making Space for People SPD.


Decision of Executive Councilor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces and the Executive Councilor for Transport and Community Safety


  i.  Agreed the draft Making Space for People: Vision, Principles & Strategies document (Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report) for consultation purposes.

  ii.  Approved the draft Baseline Report (Appendix 2 of the Officer’s report) for consultation purpose as amended.

  iii.  Noted the consultation period would take place for six weeks between Monday 2 September and Monday 14 October 2019.

  iv.  Approved the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development was granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councilor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, the Executive Councilor for Transport and Community Safety and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes prior to commencement of the consultation period.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Principal Urban Designer referring to the Making Space for People project which would lead to the production of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This would provide planning guidance for the streets and public spaces that formed the public realm in Central Cambridge. 


The Principal Urban Designer informed the Committee of an amendment to recommendation 2.1.2 of the Officers report which would read as follows (additional text underlined).




The draft Baseline Report attached to this committee report at Appendix 2 for consultation purposes is noted and published as part of the evidence base for the Making Space for People: Vision, Principles & Strategies document


The Committee unanimously agreed the amendment.


The Chair welcomed the Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre to the meeting who made the following comments following the Committee discussion:


  i.  A separate review of car parks in the city centre and the Council’s office strategy were currently being undertaken.

  ii.  Did not believe the Council had ever supported the notion ‘the more tourists the better’.

  iii.  The Council did not have the power to determine where coaches parked in the city but had worked with the County Council to create a coach strategy.

  iv.  The coach strategy outlined plans for coaches to park at the Park and Rides sites (but more coach parking would be required). Spaces at Cambridge Backs would have to be pre-booked, however did not agree that coach parking along the Backs was the most suitable.

  v.  Visit Cambridge had been in discussion with other heritage cities regarding the introduction of a tourist tax. Ultimately this would be down to Central Government. A tourist tax would be based on overnight stays in the city.

  vi.  The Council and Visit Cambridge had been working hard to reduce the number of day trippers and encourage overnight stays and would continue to do so.

 vii.  Disputed the claim that the city centre was ‘grubby’.

viii.  A recent Cambridge Improvement District (BID) survey had approximately 80% of responses agreeing that the City was clean or very clean.

  ix.  Would enquire with Officers about the possibility of transferring a proportion of County Council’s food and drink licenses to the City Council concerning those restaurants in the city offering outside seating.




The Principal Urban Designer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The impact that an increased bus service in Emmanuel and Drummer Street would have on the city centre would be further investigated while working with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and as the SPD was further developed.

  ii.  Was not in the Council’s gift to grant a clean air policy in the city centre but the consultation document made reference to this and how it could be achieved, such as electric vehicles, traffic enforcement and working with outside agencies.

  iii.  Further work would be carried out detailing reliable enforcement mechanisms to underpin motor vehicle access controls.

  iv.  The document references that inclusive design will be paramount to create a City Centre which was accessible, inclusive and safe.

  v.  It was imperative to ensure that disabled users enjoyed the same access to the city centre as all users: the document made reference to inclusivity for all. 

  vi.  Recognised there would be a challenge to balance the allocation of spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and public with transport links in and around the city.

 vii.  Would look at how the dispersal of tourists could be encouraged around the city centre.

viii.  Traffic audits would investigate the flow of traffic into the city centre and parking and how to inspire the use of park and rides services. 

  ix.  The SPD would pick up the issue of city centre street furniture, including ideas around management of table and chairs, when considering the reallocation of space; whilst examining the quality of the space for the hierarchy of users.

  x.  The document looked the rebalancing of streets and spaces looking at the streets of the city as spaces and not just movement corridors.

  xi.  Would look at the wording of the document to ensure it was clear that Cambridge was a working city as well as a tourist attraction and home to local residents living in the centre. 

 xii.  The document acknowledged the importance of local businesses in the city centre and the contribution they made to the local economy; it was imperative the day to day operational needs to support those businesses were not disrupted.



xiii.  The SPD would explore delivery strategies in the city such as last mile deliveries and delivery hubs.

xiv.  The document would focus on the vision and principles while the SPD would concentrate on the more detailed strategies and how they could materialise. 

xv.  Noted the comment regarding overreaching; concepts were being explored early in the process while the SPD would focus on strategies that would fit within the context of the Greater Cambridge Partnership and the work they were undertaking. 

xvi.  With reference to the term ‘alternative to car parking’, this could mean creating cycle to work schemes, promoting public transport, moving barriers to sustainable movement in the city.

xvii.  Would work on the term ‘demand management’ to how to achieve a 24% reduction in vehicles in the city referenced in the document.

xviii.  There was a separate project looking at the market place which the document would make reference to.


The Committee unanimously endorsed the Officer recommendations with amendments.


The Executive Councillors approved the recommendations as amended.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillors (and any Dispensations Granted)


No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillors


Publication date: 23/01/2020

Date of decision: 19/07/2019