The report was presented by Lucy Mannion.
Councillor Little asked if the footbridge was for passengers or for the general public. She also sought clarification on the location of the bus stop and commented that there could be potential traffic queues if the bus was stopping on the road for pick up/drop off. Lucy Mannion answered the footbridge was for passengers. She said that the application was for the station building and that it did not include the bus facilities whereas the previous application had. She said that the daybreak site next to the station had room for buses to turn around.
Councillor Little pointed out that some Ensign buses were large so needed adequate room to turn. She was concerned that the application would be approved but without plans for a bus stop or a facility for buses to turn around. She also pointed out that the general public was currently able to access the footbridge. Julian Howes explained that buses would stop where they currently stopped now just east of the station and west of the station in a layby. There was a potential that the Daybreak Windows site would have a transport hub with a bus turn round facility. He went on to say that the current station layout did not have a turnaround facility and the proposal did not have one either so the Highways Team had no objection on this part. He explained that members of the public should not be able to access the footbridge and had not been able to in the past but there were times when the barriers were open and pedestrians were able to access the footbridge. The footbridge had always been the station side of the development and only train passengers were able to access the footbridge.
Speaker Statements were heard from:
· Shane Hebb, Ward Councillor – in support.
· Colin Black, Applicant’s Representative – in support.
Steve Taylor sought clarification on who owned the land. He also said that there was a missed opportunity in the proposals for a pedestrian footbridge. Lucy Mannion answered that Network Rail owned the land which was leased to c2c. Julian Howes added that installing a footbridge would involve a lot of logistics in another location.
Councillor Piccolo said that he was concerned over how long the project had taken to complete and felt it would take longer in the winter months to come. He commented that a bus layby was needed but that the Committee needed to consider the application that was before them on its own merits. He pointed out that some projects would come in separate applications due to the separate phases of each project. He said that it would not be fair to delay this application to wait for other applications that was related to this project. Councillor Polley said that Members comments needed to be considered to help shape the masterplan but agreed that it was the application before Committee that needed to be considered. Councillor Watson said that care around the lizards on the site should be taken during construction and asked if the transport phase would come to Committee for consideration. It was confirmed that this would.
The Chair proposed the officer’s recommendation to approve planning permission and was seconded by Councillor Piccolo.
(Councillor Byrne did not participate in this application due to his declaration of interest.)
FOR: (7) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Terry Piccolo, Georgette Polley, Lee Watson, Abbie Akinbohun and Susan Little.