SPROUGHTON PARISH COUNCIL
Clerk:Mrs S. FrankisTelephone:01473 463852
24 Church CrescentE-Mail:
Fringe Parishes Meeting with Cllr James Finch, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Notes of the meeting held on Thursday, 12th November 2015, 3.00pm, at the Barley Room, Tithe Barn, Lower Street, Sproughton
Cllr James Finch (JF)Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport
Cllr Simon Curl (SC)Chairman, Sproughton Parish Council
Cllr Helen Davies (HD)Vice-Chair, Sproughton Parish Council – Chair for this meeting
Cllr Ann Burchnall (AB)Burtsall Parish Council
Cllr Ian Bryce (IB)Hintlesham & Chattisham Parish Council
Cllr David Plowman (DP)Pinewood Parish Council
Cllr Mike Watling (MW)Copdock & Washbrook Parish Council
Mr Clive Harris (CH)Sproughton parishioner
Mr John Foster (JFo)Sproughton parishioner
Mrs Sue Frankis (SF)Clerk to the Parish of Sproughton
HD Welcomed those present and explained the purpose of the meeting would be to better understand the considerations of Suffolk County Council, (SCC) and what actions were being undertaken regarding traffic, in respect of the cumulative impact of all proposed developments within the area, not just the proposed Wolsey Grange development.
JFExplained that SCC is a statutory consultee regarding transport, highways and other issues relating to planning applications. Their role is to apply the Highway law to an application, and to fundamentally prioritise highway safety. He advised that he has no influence regarding the determination of an application, nor political influence regarding the procedural variation of applying Highway law. However, he is able to take away issues of concern and to apply a technical judgement against an application.
JFoAdvised that, at the public meeting held at the Tithe Barn 3rd September 2015, when questioned about who had responsibility for what, Nicholas Ridley, Babergh District Cllr had ‘passed the buck’ to County Council, and so the Fringe Parishes had requested this meeting with JF.
HDQuestioned if there is a Transport Strategy for Ipswich and the Ipswich fringe developments in place. The cumulative impact is of concern and it would appear there is no collective thinking. In practical terms, JF was asked what he is able to consider.
JFAdvised that as the law stands, it was his understanding that SCC can only respond to an application as it appears and so are unable to look at the cumulative impact from any proposed and future developments.
SCAsked that if it is known there is land that will come forward for future development, eg. the former sugar beet site, would it be possible for SCC to look at a strategic plan instead of waiting for each development to come forward?
DPSuggested that if you add up all of the known and future developments in this area, it will be a considerable amount of development and cumulatively, likely to be a larger development than Sizewell, for which there is a strategic plan in place. To which end, there should be a strategic plan for this area.
SCAdvised the planning process facilitates an holistic approach when considering an application and so it should be possible to look at all applications jointly and so formulate a strategic plan.
JFoAsked if it would be possible for SCC to carry out a feasibility study for our area, and to prioritise sections of the community which could impact the infrastructure.
JFAdvised that SCC has to operate to make sure that public money is spent in the most cost effective way, to deliver safe roads.
IBProposed there is a need for a strategic plan for the development alongside the A1071, from Sudbury to Ipswich.
HDQuestioned that if SCC knows of all the developments in our area which are to come forward and the current and predicted levels of traffic are known, then why can’t SCC look at a strategic plan for our area?
JFAdvised that SCC has a balance to ensure they provide infrastructure to support economic growth. He recognised that small villages are being made to endure the effects of growth.
HDSuggested SCC’s strategy must be seriously compromised if it is unable to consider the cumulative impact of developments.
SCSuggested that SCC is able to look at allocated development sites in district council and borough council Core Strategy Local Plans. If there was a strategy in place that took in all allocated sites, then when looking at a particular proposed development, infrastructure could be compared against a strategic plan.
JFRecognised the comments that had been put forward and agreed to get his team to look at all developments to be brought forward between Ipswich and Sudbury, in particular those along the A1071. To specifically look at the infrastructure in our area and to see what SCC considers needs to be in place moving forward. He proposed to meet with the Fringe Parishes group in 6 months to provide any updates.
CHAdvised the Local Transport Plan expires in 2015 and that the next Local Plan consultation will be published shortly. He considered that in order for our issues to be included, it would be preferred for a meeting to be held within 3 months.
JFAdvised that fundamentally, SCC will ensure that the infrastructure will support all future developments.
The meeting closed at 4.10 pm.
Notes prepared by Sue Frankis, Clerk to the Parish of Sproughton