A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Issue

Issue - decisions

Officer Delegations for Infrastructure Projects

18/04/2023 - Officer Delegations for Infrastructure Projects

Matter for Decision

The report sought to delegate authority for providing the City Councils position on specific elements of the statutory process to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development at specific stages of the consultation process on administrative and procedural matters, as well as commenting on technical elements and providing a view on the impacts/merits on specific and significant new national and regional infrastructure projects.


Decision of the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure

i.               Delegated to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic

  Development, authority for providing responses on behalf of the City Council to the stages of the statutory process listed in Para 4.20 and 4.21 for the infrastructure proposals listed in Paras 4.4. and 4.12 of the Officers report which are as follows:

 4.20 Proposed Delegations for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) process

·      Registration of the Council as “interested party."

·      Responding to any consultation on EIA screening/scoping on behalf of Cambridge City Council

·      Attendance at pre-examination preliminary meeting and agreement of procedures and timetable for examination on behalf of Cambridge City Council.

·      Instruction of witnesses and legal advisors and approval of all representations and agreements (e.g. Statement of Common Ground, conditions etc) through the Examination Process on behalf of Cambridge City Council.

4.21 TWA process

·      Agreement of response to EIA consultation on behalf of Cambridge City Council.

·      Agreement at pre-examination process of procedures for examination, timetable etc on behalf of Cambridge City Council.

·      Instruction of Witnesses and legal advisor and approval of all submissions including proofs of evidence, statement of common ground on behalf of Cambridge City Council.

·      Agreement on conditions and scope of post decision submissions/controls subject to LPA control on behalf of Cambridge City Council.



4.4 The following projects are known/believed to be planned to follow the NSIP route:

·      Cambridge Water Treatment Works relocation (to be submitted 2022/3)

·      E-W Rail (Submission due TBC)

4.12 The Following infrastructure projects currently expected to progress via the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWA) route:

·      Cambourne to Cambridge Rapid Transport Route (C2C) Public transport corridor project

·      Cambridge Southeast Transport Route (CSET) Public transport corridor project

·      Cambridge Eastern Access public transport corridor

·      Waterbeach to Cambridge – public transport corridor

·      Greater Greenways Project (various routes)


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development introduced the report.


In response to comments made by the Committee, the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development and Chair of the Committee said the following:

      i.         The recommendation was for officer delegation of specific projects only.

    ii.         The focus of the delegation was on the bureaucratic nature; the timelines of the consultation process was important to note. 

   iii.         The request was before the Committee not because of staff resource but to ensure an effective representation of the Council at all stages of the process.

  iv.         As highlighted in the report, a framework would be set up to allow members to provide officers with their assessment on the schemes that were to be considered.

    v.         Confirmed there would be briefing on the NSIP processes and procedures and the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations.

  vi.         At the next meeting of the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee there would be a briefing on the overview of the projects identified for delegations so members could express their views to officers.

 vii.         Officers would then be able to take into consideration Members views when making representations specially referencing mitigation, impact, potential planning obligations and conditions.

viii.         The Shared Planning Service was committed to an update on the Statement of Community Involvement which would help refresh the expectations of the consultation, providing a framework for the officers to work within.

  ix.         At each critical stage the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure would be consulted, who in turn, would consult with Chair and Spokes. 

    x.         Recognised that there could be different of opinions from both South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council and confirmed these would be reported individually where that occurred (as the response of the local authority). 

  xi.         The legal position is to ensure that the views of each council were before the examining body. Such views would not be softened or artificially aligned. On Cambridge South Station the Councils had a different response.

 xii.         Provided the example of Cambridge South Station of collaborative working with officers and members that increased biodiversity net gain through a narrow time frame and with delegated authority.

xiii.         Several the projects listed were already widely debated.

xiv.         Once the Council had formed its view on the proposal, the proposal would not dramatically change. 

xv.         It would not be appropriate for officers to seek to diminish members opinions on a proposal – and there was no intention to do so.

xvi.         In response to a request for a debate on the merits of each project, it was cautioned that the incomplete and emerging information /details on each scheme meant that a definitive position could and should not be reached at this stage. Stating the Council view at this stage could lead to predetermination of the Council position without all of the information.

xvii.         Reiterated that a briefing would be provided in Committee to take away members opinions and a timetable would be provided.

xviii.         Dependent on the project and its location, the Councils legislative standing and entitlement to automatically be treated as an interested party may be different to SCDC. each


The Committee

Unanimously endorsed the recommendations as set out in the Officer’s report.


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

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.