A vote held by Cambridge City Councillors earlier today (Wed 16th November 2011) will almost certainly delay the provision of the planned 3,000 space cycle park at Cambridge station.
Developers of the “CB1″ station area scheme are required to provide the cycle parking as part of their agreement with the council associated with the planning permission for the development. The developers are not building the cycle park themselves but paying for it to be done.
A variation to the agreement, approved via a 5-2 vote of the planning committee, changes the part of the scheme the cycle parking provision is linked to. It was previously linked to housing. It looks as if the developers were keen to get on with building the homes, but wanted to be let off the requirement to provide the cycle parking along with it.
The cycle parking is now linked to the development of a different phase, involving a health and retail building on the south side of the proposed station square.
“Councillors expressed concern that cycle and car parking provision would be delayed, but were told consent was needed for the changes to allow work to begin on the flats.”
My concern is that the developers are smarter than our councillors and are running rings round them. There is no guarantee the latter phases of the development will be built. We need to elect better councillors.
I asked one of the local city councillors, Liberal Democrat Cllr Brown, why she had not drawn attention to the proposed change via her blog, on which she claims to keep residents updated on planning matters. She replied:
It’s a procedural issue re delegation. The planning committee hears them from time to time. I’m in contact with stakeholders.
I wrote back complaining about the jargon and asking why we are not all considered stakeholders in something clearly of significant public interest.