Agenda item

Public Questions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Monday 14 June 2021



Question from Alan Bailey to the Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services, Councillor Martin Horwood


Can the Council state what high quality sustainable transport measures will be in place to allow the Cheltenham Plan MD4 to be developed? As required by the NPPF.


Clarification: Whilst the individual plans within MD4 are carefully considered for each individual application there are now at least 3 applications under consideration for MD4 and new the school is approved and under construction. The 2016 appeal considered that the traffic on the A46 was severe. The individual developments are to have traffic adjustment but none of the plans will reduce the traffic. The 2019 Appeal PP/B1605/W/19/3238462 concluded that there were “no sustainable” links to local centres from MD4 (Then JCS MD5). But in conclusion the Judge had no reason to believe these would not be in place before the development took place. However, nearly 3 years on from the original application there are no high-quality sustainable routes from the area MD4 and no plans with funds to support them as required by NPPF. The delivery of Sustainable routes must precede any development of MD4. Thus, sustainable transport to major centres becomes vital before approval. Currently there are no sustainable routes and certainly not high quality.



Response from Cabinet Member


Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is the Local Transport Authority for Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham Borough. This means that they are responsible for transport planning across the County. GCC produce a Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the area.. LTPs set the transport strategy for an area. LTPs also directly inform land use as set out in Local Plans.


The Council also has a statutory duty to consult GCC on highways’ matters as part of the planning application process. GCC comments are a material consideration in the planning process and on larger schemes will often form a significant part of the determination. When a planning application is approved which contains alterations or improvements to the transport network these are usually subject to some form of legal agreements. The implementation of the schemes becomes the responsibility of GCC as it is their network that will be impacted.


Planning application (20/01788/FUL) for 350 dwellings in Leckhampton is currently under consideration and includes a Transport Assessment and proposed traffic measures. GCC, as the local transport authority, will assess these and provide comments to the planning officer. The question raised here, however, is very relevant to the consideration of this planning application and several others in the area. The cumulative impacts of the different developments must be assessed against the policies which are already in place, particularly Policy INF1 of the JCS and LTP Policy PD 0.1 which should support better connectivity and more sustainable transport choices. I propose to seek an urgent meeting with the relevant parties to discuss the proposals as a whole and ensure that these policies are complied with.



Supplementary question


Is there a proper business plan in place, and if not, can it be put in place before MD4 is developed?



Response from Cabinet Member


Thank you for raising this point and for following the issue closely throughout. While Local Plan policies do not have specific business plans, we have adopted multiple policies at different levels (such as the Local Transport Plan) which ensure that the key principles are considered. I would like to convene an urgent meeting of interested parties to talk together about how we can make sure these important policies are implemented in Leckhampton.



Question from Alan Bailey to the Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services, Councillor Martin Horwood


Will the Council detail how the LPA interacts with the Transport Authority to implement such infrastructure measures such that the area MD4 can be developed?


Clarification: The public find the current situation exceedingly difficult to understand the roadmap for high-level plans for sustainable transport. “Without political intervention”, who does what, and when, and who how the schemes are funded etc?



Response from Cabinet Member


Please refer to the answer given above.



Supplementary question


We now have a Transport Plan until 2041, but the objectives themselves acknowledge they are not currently funded. On page 148, you can see that objectives 4 and 20 have no funding explanation. What will the funding sources be for these objectives?



Response from Cabinet Member


This is more of a county council issue, but we are still keen to bring together interested parties very soon considering the nature of live planning applications. Key funding sources are likely to include the Community Infrastructure Levy.



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