Agenda item

Attleborough Link Road Delivery (Agenda Item 14)

Report by the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded Members that a large amount of information for this item was Below the Line.  If they wished to discuss those details it would be necessary to exclude the Press & Public.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report which offered three options and set out the costs.  Route three was being recommended for approval as the least expensive.  The wording of that recommendation had been amended for clarity.  He then asked the Deputy Planning Manager to explain the details.

 

The Deputy Planning Manager advised that routes one and two affected a significant number of residents and businesses.  The preferred route was also the best transport solution.  Approval would prove the Council’s positive commitment and reduce uncertainty.  It would be the first step in a long process which would include the need to apply for planning permission.

 

Councillor Cowen noted that whichever route was chosen there was a railway line to be crossed.  He hoped that the Council would ensure that that it had the latest control mechanisms as some crossing had been problematic in the past.

 

Councillor Stasiak (Attleborough Ward Representative) hoped that Cabinet would approve option three.  There had been uncertainty for too long and livelihoods had been threatened.  However, he stressed the need for the road to be started before any major development commenced.

 

Councillor Duigan asked if there was any indication on the time it would take for the development to have an effect on the Council’s Housing Land Supply deficit. He was concerned that the Council was currently subject to ‘hostile’ planning applications. In response the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development advised that lots of planning applications would be needed as the development would come forward in phases.

 

The amendments to the recommendation were read out to Members.  It was also pointed out that Option 3 referred to the red route on the map on page 60 of the Agenda.

 

Options

 

·         Members to consider the contents of this report and appendices and agree to delegate responsibility to officers to seek to acquire the land required to deliver link road option 3 by negotiated agreement with the landowner. Members resolve not to pursue acquisition of alternative link road options 1 and 2 (and variations thereof). Members also agree to release funding to acquire land should the negotiation be successful. Should an agreement with the landowner of option 3 not be forthcoming within 6 months, a report will be brought back to Cabinet to agree next steps.

 

·         Members to consider the contents of this report and do not agree to allow officers to seek to acquire the land required to deliver link road option 3 by negotiated agreement with the landowner. Members do not agree to release funding to purchase the land. Members do not agree to the principle of Council involvement to acquire the land.

 

Reasons

 

·         The reason for the recommendation is to enable the identification of a preferred route and to provide certainty of the mechanisms to enable delivery. Consequent upon this is an increased degree of potential certainty about the location and identity of land holdings that stand (or would not stand) to be affected. Furthermore, the mechanisms to enable the route’s delivery would be clarified, such that negotiations to effect voluntary acquisitions by agreement would be embarked upon in the first instance. 

 

·         Should option 7.1(i) not be agreed, Members are advised that this will significantly and adversely affect the Council’s adopted planning strategy for Attleborough, but also critically impact upon the likely soundness of the emerging Local Plan document currently under preparation.

 

·         Furthermore, not endorsing paragraph 7.1(i) would also result in the Council being unable to resist further speculative planning applications for new housing development in Attleborough in advance of the Local Plan as it would be unable to demonstrate delivery of the proposed new housing growth currently expected to come forward in the later phases of the plan period.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)               Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive to seek to acquire the necessary land to facilitate Link Road option 3 through engagement and negotiated agreement with landowner; and

(2)               Link Road options 1 and 2 not be pursued.

 

It was further RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader to approve and release the required funding for land purchase of route option 3.

Supporting documents: