News release from 17/06/2019

Comment on draft vision for new village at Bourn Airfield

Local residents can now comment on draft guidance that will outline how a new village will come forward as an exemplar in green, healthy living at Bourn Airfield.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Local Plan, which was adopted last year, allocates land south of the A428 at Bourn Airfield for a new community of approximately 3,500 homes along with facilities and transport links.

The site is a former World War Two airfield and sits between Cambourne and Caldecote. It’s a mixture of previously developed land and agricultural fields and currently used for farming, recreational flying, storage and employment.

Aerial view of Bourn Airfield

Now, the Council is asking people to comment on a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will provide extra detail and guidance, building on the Local Plan, about how the new village will come forward. Once finalised and adopted, the SPD will be used to help assess planning applications for the site.

At their meeting on 5 June, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to consult on this draft guidance. As a result, a six-week consultation into the draft SPD has begun today (Monday 17 June) and runs until 5pm on Monday 29 July. People can have their say by visiting www.scambs.gov.uk/consultations

The proposed SPD says the new development should be:

  • Well connected with traffic-free, active travel routes and high-quality public transport, both locally, to Cambridge and ultimately St Neots
  • Vibrant, prosperous and inclusive with housing for all, schools, sports and leisure, community uses, shops and jobs
  • Healthy, active and resilient with an emphasis on walking and cycling and lots of green spaces offering opportunities for recreation and meeting places
  • Locally distinctive, respecting its context whilst creating a modern new village
  • Responsive and sustainable, planned to enhance the environment, be responsive to climate change and be an exemplar of sustainability
  • Cohesive, well planned and well governed through careful master planning and design, supporting community building and creating community focussed governance

The proposed SPD says that the aim will be to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. It sets out the need for the creation of a mixed community with a wide range of housing types and tenures, including homes that are affordable for people to live in, self-build, key-worker, extra care and older people’s accommodation.

Houses in distance behind pond

The proposals for services and shops say that the village centre will be the community’s heart, with a flexibly-designed community centre that can accommodate indoor sports, healthcare, library and other information and advice services. There will also be schools, shops plus places to eat and drink. The idea would be for the village centre to come forward as part of the first phase of the development, but not compete with other facilities already open nearby.

Green spaces would be prioritised, with sports pitches coupled with an extensive network of green areas and routes for walking, cycling and horse-riding and a large country park. Biodiversity will be key, with an emphasis on leaving a positive green mark on the environment and electric vehicle charging points provided throughout the village.

Green spaces

The draft guidance also gives further detail about access to the new village. Access from the west will include bus and cycle links to Cambourne and ensure no direct vehicular access for traffic to turn south towards the village of Bourn. Access from the east would include segregated routes for high quality public transport and cyclists towards Cambridge.

Bus and bike

Deputy Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council and Lead Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, said: “We really want help from local people to provide the best possible guidance for how this new development should come forward. It is an excellent chance to influence a green, low-carbon community right before a single brick is put into place. We’re always working to be green to our core and as environmentally-friendly as possible, and that’s why we’re highlighting our aspirations for this site to be as kind to the environment as it can be, while delivering some of the new homes that we know we need. Please do tell us what you think of these proposals. It’s very easy to comment via our website, or come and talk to us at one of the drop-in events we’re holding in Cambourne, Caldecote and Bourn this month and next.”

Drop-in events will be held for people to have their say and ask questions on:

  • Thursday 27 June from 3:30pm to 8pm at Cambourne Village College
  • Wednesday 3 July from 3pm to 7:30pm at Caldecote Village Hall
  • Wednesday 10 July from 3pm to 7:30pm at the Council’s Sheltered Housing Community Building at Hall Close, Bourn

Last year, developers Countryside submitted a planning application for a new village of up to 3,500 homes at Bourn Airfield. This application is still being assessed by the Council.