Agenda item

Attleborough Transport Study (Agenda item 12)

Report of the Executive Member for the Planning, Health & Housing Portfolio (Paul Claussen).

 

Proforma B to follow.

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Policy Officer presented the report which related to the need for a Transport Study as a supporting document for the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan and to request the release of up to £100,000 to complete the work.

 

Key to the release of the amount of housing land was a link road which would cross the railway line to serve development and mitigate traffic impacts on the town centre.  The capacity of the existing road network would only allow for a very limited growth.

 

An initial transport study had been undertaken to satisfy the Inspector at the Examination in Public into the Core Strategy.  He had found the Strategy sound on the basis of the link road which he agreed was necessary and viable.

 

Transport was a significant issue for the town and the scope of the Study, which would be agreed in conjunction with Norfolk County Council and the Highways Agency, would be to look in detail at transport issues and solutions for Attleborough.  A similar Study was ongoing for Thetford.

 

Norfolk County Council had already confirmed that it was able to commit £20,000 towards the Study and the Highways Agency had indicated that it might be able to contribute £10,000.  Notwithstanding these potential contributions it was recommended that Breckland Council took the lead role in delivering the Study to ensure outputs were managed to support the planning framework for the town and were delivered in a timely manner under Breckland Council’s control.

 

The Vice-Chairman informed Members that the consultation process was already underway and had been well attended.  He knew that with Attleborough’s significant growth there would be a need for considerable change and the Transport Study would back this up.

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman agreed but stressed that as the railway line was fundamentally important to the town, Network Rail should be approached and be asked to contribute towards the Transport Study as there were always frustrations to contend with the rail network in Norfolk.  He felt that the Members should adopt exactly as proposed but to stress the importance of the Network Rail link.

 

The Chairman pointed out this level of spend could not be sustained in the future as grants for such purposes would probably not exist.  The Chief Executive reported that the Deputy Chief Executive had been tasked to investigate alternative schemes.  He said that there could be a facility within the forthcoming Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

 

Options

 

1)           To agree the need for the Transport Study and release up to £100,000 for that work.

 

2)           Not to agree the need for the Study.

 

Reasons

 

As stated in the introduction of the report , when adopting the Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Document, this Council required that Attleborough’s growth had to relate to the construction of the link road; a point accepted by the Inspector at the EiP into the Core Strategy.

 

The appropriate way for this issue to be properly assessed was through a detailed Transport Study, to ensure the range of factors surrounding the impact of the proposed growth could be properly considered.  The Council would then be able to produce an appropriate Area Action Plan and fully assess significant planning applications submitted in the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath areas.

 

RECOMMEND to Council that the development and completion of a Transport Study be approved, and the funding up to the value of £100,000 be released from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant to complete the work.

Supporting documents: