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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

No. Item




Apologies were received from City Councillor Page-Croft and South Cambs Councillor Chamberlain. There were no Alternates sitting for the absent Members.


Declarations of Interest





Councillor Baigent


Personal: Member Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Councillor Sargeant


Personal: Member Cambridge Cycling Campaign


Councillor de Lacey


Personal: Member Cambridge Cycling Campaign


Councillor Bradnam


Personal: Application site was within her ward but she had not fettered her discretion.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the 17th July 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.


S/0064/19/CC and S/0064/19/CM - Land north of Newmarket Road, Cambridge pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Bygott left after the first vote on the Officer’s recommendation for following item.


The Committee received an application under Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992 (as amended) for full planning permission for the erection of a two-storey, 2 Form Entry Primary School to accommodate 420 pupils with a 52-place nursery, creation of new accesses for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, car park, landscaping and associated infrastructure.


Matt Wood, Applicant’s Agent and John Colepin of Anglian Learning Trust addressed the Committee in support of the application.


The Committee asked for clarity regarding Woodland Area which was currently leased to the County Council as part of the Park and Ride site.


Officer’s confirmed that the Academy would lease this land from the County Council.


Councillor Williams asked if this could be conditioned so that it remained a wooded area in perpetuity.


The Assistant Director (Delivery) undertook to investigate this outside the meeting and to report back to the Committee.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the Officer’s report.

  i.  Raised a number of concerns regarding school run car drop offs, poor driver behaviour, inconsiderate or unsafe parking and inadequate cycle and scooter storage.

  ii.  Voiced concerns regarding the impact of a new school on existing primary school provision in the locality of the proposed site.

  iii.  Suggested they had been misled by previous applications regarding the Market Square and the predicted number of cycle trips crossing a pedestrian dominated area.

  iv.  Questioned the sustainability of the design.

  v.  Queried why the proposed BREEAM rating achieved was ‘Very Good’ rather than ‘Excellent’.

  vi.  Suggested that the building would suffer from overheating in the future given climate change.


In response to Members’ questions the Assistant Director (Delivery), the Joint Interim Assistant Director,Development Management Officer, the Education Department Representative and Dr Jon Finney said the following:

  i.  Fencing to the wooded area had been discussed with the ecologist and the landscaping officer. It was intended that the tree belt would be an addition to the school and would be used for supervised activities. The fencing on the school site would allow people to see into the area. A less permeable fence was planned for the Park and Ride side.

  ii.  The Market Square was designed to be dominated by pedestrians. Car trips had been modelled and the design was intended to encourage parents and carers to adopt more sustainable modes of transport to transport children to school. A School travel plan would be adopted. The County Council had a co-ordinator in place to work with parents on transport measures.

  iii.  It was expected that the school would grow with the community. The initial intake would be small. Teversham and Fen Ditton schools had been consulted. However, it was acknowledged that parental choice was difficult to manage.

  iv.  Confirmed that the proposal contained provision for 82 cycle stand (2 cycles per stand) and 70 scooter stands. The provision was detailed and would be conditioned. Staff provision was included in the numbers quoted. In addition, there was considerable provision in the wider area of the Market Square.

  v.  For safety reasons the school had a single entry point although it was inevitable that there would be some congestion at peak times. Non-school cyclists crossing the Market Square would be aware of the situation and would be expected to behave reasonably.

  vi.  The proposal was compliant with the South Cambridgeshire Cambridge East Area Action Plan.

 vii.  In response to the Committee’s concerns regarding cycle storage provision, officers confirmed that the site was considered policy compliant. Younger children were expected to use scooters rather than cycles. A travel plan would allow the situation to be reviewed at a later date at which point additional provision could be required of the applicant.


Councillor Sargeant proposed and Councillor Wilson seconded an amendment to the officer’s recommendation that 12 additional cycle spaces be provided.


Officers suggested that this would be difficult to defend as the application was policy compliant and Cambridge Cycling Campaign were satisfied with the provision. The proposed travel plan would be reviewed after 12 months and there was also additional cycle storage provision nearby.


Councillor Sargeant subsequently proposed that this matter be an informative rather than a condition.


This amendment was carried unanimously.


viii.  Confirmed that all new schools were required to be BREEAM ‘Very Good’ regarding energy and water usage. The applicant would also need to meet Building Regulations requiring the building to be nearly carbon zero.

  ix.  Confirmed that internal blinds would be used to keep the building cool. Internal systems would be managed by the school.

  x.  In response to Councillor Thornburrow’s request for an informative to future proof the building from overheating, the Strategic Director (Delivery) stated that overheating of schools was a growing problem and that a separate briefing on this matter would be arranged with the Education Team at the County Council.

  xi.  Confirmed that the Design Panel had agreed the materials, including heat reflective treatment to the glazing.


Councillor Thornburrow proposed an amendment to conditions 20, 24 and 25 requiring them to be approved prior to any development above slab level.


The Joint Interim Assistant Director (County Council) stated that this could cause delays to the delivery of the project and this had to be balanced against the additional school places that were needed.


Councillor Thornburrow proposed amendments to conditions 20, 24 and 25 requiring the details each of those conditions required came forward for approval sooner than expressed in the Officer’s draft conditions in as much they each be approved prior to any development above slab level.


The amendment to condition 20 was carried unanimously.


 xii.  Confirmed that the applicant had not requested flood lighting to the Multi Use Games Area and stated that they there was nothing to stop them doing so in the future.

xiii.  Explained the school access points. No motor vehicles would be able to access the front of the school. The only vehicles accessing the site would be limited numbers of staff and their arrivals and departures were not expected to conflict with drop off times for school children.

xiv.  In response to members concerns about the design of the pedestrian access points and the lack of a cycle route to the cycle storage points, the Joint Interim Assistant Director (County Council) stated that officers were satisfied with the proposals. The School providers were experienced and had undertaken considerable pre application consultations.

xv.  In response to a request from Councillor Sargeant to defer the application while access arrangements were reviewed, the Joint Interim Assistant Director (County Council) suggested that members would need to be clear that the access arrangements were the only matter to be reviewed and good planning reasons would be required. It would be understood that all other matters were agreed.


Councillor Smart proposed and Councillor Wilson seconded a proposal to defer the application pending more details coming forward from the applicant related to the access points because a single point access would cause conflict.


The Joint Interim Assistant Director(County Council) confirmed that there were three access points and that any conflict would be a management issue for the school rather than a design matter.


The Assistant Director (Delivery) confirmed that the Trust were aware of the access issues and would ensure the safe functioning of the school.


Councillor Smart withdrew his proposal to defer the application.


The Committee Resolved (by 10 votes to 3) to reject the officer recommendation to approve the application.


Some Members of the Committee expressed a view that they had not fully appreciated the purpose of the vote and had not been given a further opportunity to consider the deferment option the application. Following legal advice, the Chair proposed and Councillor Wilson seconded a further vote to annul the previous vote.


The Committee Resolved (by 7 votes to 6) to annul the vote to reject the officer recommendations.


Further discussions took place as follows:


  i.  The Committee expressed concerns regarding the main access to the site and the potential for conflict in a confined space.

  ii.  Concerns were raised that the conflict was not a management issue but a design flaw. Members were of the view that the cycle access should be redesigned to remove the conflict envisaged.

  iii.  Suggested that the building should have a passive cooling system.

  iv.  Questioned the orientation of the building.


The Joint Interim Assistant Director (County Council) reminded the Committee that there was a Master Plan and a Design Code in place for the site which required the school to front immediately onto the Market Square. Changing the design of the building to move it back and allow cycle parking to the front of the building would require an amendment to the Master Plan and Design Code.


Councillor Bygott proposed deferring the application.

This proposal was lost by (by 12 votes to 1).


The Assistant Director (Delivery) suggested that Members concerns went beyond matters that could be resolved by a deferral and were more in line with reasons for refusal.


Members suggested the following reasons for refusal: (i) the main access point was poorly designed, as were the car park access, the nursery access and the cycle parking location;  and (ii) the lack of passive cooling systems for the building.


The Committee


The Committee Resolved (by 10 votes to 3) to reject the officer recommendation to approve the application.


Resolved (by 11 votes to 1) to refuse the application contrary to the officer recommendations for the following reasons:


1. Design and Access


The proposed design and access of the building, by reason of the conflict between all users including pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists in and around the entrances, is not fit for purpose and is considered to compromise public safety including local residents and users of the school building. This reason is considered to have significant adverse effects which cannot be resolved through the proposed design or conditions and consequently the development is unacceptable and contrary to Policy HQ/1 of the South Cambridgeshire District Council Local Plan 2018.


2. Design and Sustainability


The proposed design and sustainability of the building, by reason of the lack of adequate provision for passive ventilation and protection of the building from getting over heated at the outset based on its orientation, is not fit for purpose and is considered to be unacceptable and would result in an adverse impact on users of the building. As such the proposal is contrary to Policies HQ/1 and CC/1 of the South Cambridgeshire District Council Local Plan 2018. In which CC/1 states that planning permission will only be granted for proposals that demonstrate and embed the principles of climate change mitigation and adaptation.


Councillor Sargeant Chaired the following item


19/0657/FUL - 31 Southwell Drive, Trumpington pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received an application for full planning permission for a single storey rear extension.


The Committee:


Unanimously Resolved to grant the application for planning permission in accordance with the officer recommendation, for the reasons set out in the officer report, and subject to the conditions recommended by the Officers.