UPDATE : Committee has approved the application 13 -2
The Strategic Planning Committee of Cornwall Council meet this morning to decide the fate of the Tintagel Bridge application.
However the government has stepped in at the last minute to say that if permission is approved, the Secretary of State will be given time to decide whether or not to ‘call-in’ the decision, after accepting a request by Cornwall AONB unit that he look at it.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid wrote to the committee:
“I am writing to let you know that the Secretary of State has received a request from a third party [the Cornwall AONB Unit] to consider whether to “call in” the above referenced planning application for his own determination.
Should the committee be minded to grant planning permission for the application, the Secretary of State requests that a decision notice is not issued until he has had sufficient time to consider whether to call in the application. If the Council are not able to confirm that the decision notice will be withheld, the Secretary of State may issue a holding direction which would grant him the time to properly consider whether to call in the application.
Should the committee be minded to refuse planning permission, the Secretary of State will have no further involvement with the application at this time”
Further, officers have been arguing whether or not the bridge is considered a ‘major’ project, as defined in the National Planning Framework.
The Council has previously said it doesn’t count as a ‘major’ project but Natural England say “For clarity I would confirm that Natural England’s advice has been on the basis of this being a ‘major’ development under paragraph 116 of the NPPF. Our view is informed by the fact that an Environmental Statement was required and that the development falls inside a European Site, together with the scale of the bridge, its sensitive setting and the impacts of construction. We have not found the Council’s reasons for considering this to be minor development in the report. We strongly suggest this crucial point is made clear”