Thursday, November 20, 2008

Objections raised to Coleridge Planning Applications

As ward Councillor I raised objections to two Coleridge planning applications considered at this evening’s East Area committee.

In the first application, an extension for the care home on Cherry Hinton Road at the junction with Kelvin Close was turned down by the committee, citing the reasons given by objectors, including myself. There are existing problems with delivery lorries blocking narrow Kelvin Close, which would be exacerbated by the larger premises, and the increased distance from the new car parking to the main entrance. The plans also called for the demolition of two family houses on Kelvin Close, and local residents who turned up to the meeting in numbers were clearly delighted.

In the second application, a bar on the Cambridge Leisure site was asking for permission for late night opening (to 2am) seven nights a week. There have been concerns for some time about alcohol related anti-social behaviour originating from the site, and the cumulative effect of bars is a concern. Having heard considerable complaints from residents in neighbouring roads about late night anti-social behaviour, often some distance from the site, but which are likely to have been caused by users of the Leisure Park site, I don't think this application is in the interests of residents and objected to it. Fortunately the committee also agreed, and the application was turned down.

As ever, I didn't take part in actually making the decisions which I think are better made at a central planning committee, so that I was free to stand up for local residents in these cases. The final decision was made after 11pm, surely not in the interests of good decision making - when are the Liberal Democrats going to listen to complaints about how crazy their Area Committee arrangements are for deciding planning applications.

1 comment:

Richard Taylor said...

I am commenting to suggest you consider writing a post giving your readers and constituents some more details on your stance with respect to voting on planning applications at area committees. Why do you believe that you are not able to both stand up for local residents and vote? What do you think would happen if you did?

Other Area Committees have tackled the problem of planning applications being considered in a hurried fashion late at night by either holding a separate meeting dedicated to planning, or considering planning items first.

My local Labour councillor, Mike Todd-Jones also does not vote on planning matters, he has issued a statement explaining his position, which I have published, along with my comments, on my website.