Published: 2nd March 2022 

Meeting of the TBCGC Joint Planning Committee

Last night Cllr Luxford-Vaughan attended this first meeting as a CBC councillor and on behalf of WTC, with Cllr Aldis, made a submission.

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan and one other councillor were the only councillors to vote against going to public consultation, with the draft development plan document, with the two master planning options. You can view the meeting here -

These are Cllr Luxford-Vaughan's comments-

Both master planning options are unacceptable to all surrounding communities, local ward councillors and all members of the community liaison group.

We represent over 10,000 severely affected and to this point completely ignored residents.

  • The language in the draft DPD is alarmingly aspirational and is not substantiated by the reports it refers to. We believe that going to consultation is premature. The evidence is being manufactured to justify not only this scheme but the deviance from promises made to residents with particular reference to Option 3a. The representations made are a pitifully inadequate reflection of the ecology of the area and much of the assumptions and estimations of this report are based on critically insufficient information. A Borough Council that has declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency cannot base its future infrastructure on empty rhetoric and unjustified policy.
  • The purpose of this DPD is to enshrine in policy delivery of a garden community and all relevant infrastructure yet all the options are unsubstantiated with Garden Community principles. We need this to deliver a Garden Community and not the soulless housing estate we have long suspected will be delivered. In addition, confused key diagrams and lack of reference to key documents hints at the probability that the evidence base is not credible. This leads to one conclusion - this development cannot at presently conform to the principles set out by the local authority in all previous consultations and should therefore be rejected.
  • The current position is that there is insufficient funding for the link road and zero detail on the RTS all master plan options are unsustainable. A projected 20% overspend with many details still to be established is not a position at which a plan could be presented to the public or the secretary of state. We are watching this closely as we believe there are a number of areas of deep concern where we may have no choice but to submit for Judicial Review.
  • Without a revised Viability Assessment based on this development model the entire project is clearly and demonstrably unsound.
  • Given that WTC has submitted at every stage of consultation and always maintained the position that there should be NO development south of the A133 this option should be removed as public consultation has already established this fact. Why are we continuing to waste tax players money on established facts that you are choosing to ignore.
  • As Option 3a still requires ‘further assessment and technical consideration’ it cannot currently be considered in any way sound. We also remain concerned that the committee do not understand that the University is a closed loop economy and that the promise of large-scale job creation is a falsehood. We cannot understand why after 6 years the authorities remain so biased to a private business that is unable to produce evidence to justify the requested allocation.
  • The sustainability assessment sets out clearly that development south of the A133 would create severance issues. To build south of the A133 would also contradict section 1 policy that states that the setting of existing communities needs to be preserved and coalescence should be avoided.. Your option is therefore not policy compliant with Section 1 as this does not meet with Garden Community principles. Further to this we are frustrated with the post rationalisation which has changed the logical outcomes that the SA should have reached. The new SA is based on differing objectives to the one submitted to hearing and is not proven to be sound and requires formal testing.

WTC recommend that the committee do not allow this weak and poorly formulated draft to go to consultation. The evidence must be up to date prior to consultation.


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