Planning consultant needed

This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 77.

Paid work researching planning applications for the new developments

At the moment there are a great many developments, some very large, being submitted for planning permission. Cambridge Cycling Campaign would like to study and comment upon them, in order to prevent the construction of yet more areas like Arbury Park where provision for cyclists is very poor. But this is an enormous workload.

We believe we now have funds, thanks to a generous donor, to engage a self-employed consultant for 1-3 days a week to do a lot of the legwork on planning applications.

We are pursuing this approach whilst at the same time pushing ahead with investigating incorporation of the Campaign as a charity/company. However, this would take some time to achieve, yet the need for scrutinising these massive planning applications – for what almost amounts to a new Cambridge around Cambridge – is urgent.

If you know of any environmental consultants who might be interested in this work, please ask them to get in touch.

Cycling 2020 (see later in this Newsletter) and our Position Paper on New Developments (see our website and Newsletter 76) are the key documents forming the Campaign’s policy position on the subject of new developments, against which the consultant would need to be looking out for potential problems, or (hopefully) positive areas on which the Committee could then produce a formal position.

The main tasks would be:

  • Studying specific planning applications, as soon as they appear;
  • Preparing brief summaries of each planning application, for the Campaign;
  • Highlighting issues on which Cambridge Cycling Campaign might choose to comment;
  • Drafting and amending submissions;
  • Attending meetings on behalf of the Campaign and reporting back to the Committee;
  • Keeping track of the progress of planning applications and reporting to the Committee.

Would anyone one be interested in doing this work if we could raise the funds? Or does anyone know anyone who might be? They would need the following skills and experience.

Skills required:

  • Understanding of the planning system
  • Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, what is in existing key planning documents for Cambridgeshire (Local Development Framework, Structure Plan, Local Plans, Planning Policy Guidance etc.);
  • Knowledge of the context for planning and transportation in the region and of the Cambridge area;
  • Knowledge, and experience, of provision for cyclists, both locally and, preferably, elsewhere (so we can learn from successful planning in other places);
  • Good research skills, with the ability to understand complex planning documents and maps;
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to provide clear, concise and timely reports;
  • Good time management and the ability to work to, and meet, tight timelines.

We look forward to hearing from people who can help us in this way with careful scrutiny of planning applications and assist us in being much more proactive in engaging developers.

Martin Lucas-Smith