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Making Space for People: Progress report

Meeting: 23/03/2021 - Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee (Item 17)

17 Making Space for People: Progress report pdf icon PDF 345 KB


Matter for Decision


The report referred to the Making Space for the People document prepared to act as a co-ordination tool to align thinking on future street, public space and movement projects between Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership.


At the January 2021 committee meeting, officers committed to bring a Progress Report to the March committee if a full report was not possible at that point. The report provided a progress update on the Making Space for People project.


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


      i.         Noted the Progress report


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable


The Committee received a report from the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development, and the Strategy and Economy Manager advised it was not now possible to progress the Making Space for People document in 2021 alongside the other priorities for the planning service.


In response to comments made by the Committee the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development and the Strategy and Economy Manager said the following:

      i.         Had met with representatives from Cambridge Past, Present and Future and Historic England to discuss the points raised at the previous meeting.

    ii.         Had received correspondence challenging legal status of the document as highlighted in the report; having reviewed the document further officers felt it could be developed into a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which would take additional time.

   iii.         The suggestion was the document had the properties of an SPD; it was on this basis the challenge had been put forward to the Council. Rather than expose the Council to additional cost and with funding needed to be allocated elsewhere it was felt that it was best to revisit the process later.

  iv.         The interpretation of the status of planning policy documents was not straight forward, with there being a category beneath an SPD that could have some limited weight as material consideration.

    v.         The primary objective of bringing the document to the last Committee was as a mechanism to bring the Council and external partners together around a set of unifying principles, not policies, particularly in respect of transport scheme development, which seemed appropriate before the question about its legal status was made.

  vi.         There was a congested work plan which included, but was not limited to, the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan and the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, at least until the end of 2021 when it was anticipated they will have reached their next milestones. This would then allow officers the time to further develop the document.

 vii.         Officers remained committed to achieve the objectives around the street and spaces of the city for the benefit of all.

viii.         Had explored other options such as reframing the Making Space for People document as a corporate (non-planning) document and bringing it to a different committee for endorsement but this was not possible as not only were there legal issues to consider but the matter of perception.

  ix.         Noted the comment as made at the previous meeting that the document needed to be improved regardless of the legal status. Had looked at potential for the vision and principles to be taken forward by external partnerships such as the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council in their transport schemes.

    x.         Not clear at this point if they would be willing to formally endorse them.

  xi.         Understood Members’ frustration at the delay of the project but suggested an update be given in the summer and expand on the options available and explored with external partners.





The Committee:


As there was no decision the report was noted, two members did not note the report and three abstained. 


Both the Executive Councillors noted the report.