Northstowe Community Forum: 24 July 2019

The latest Northstowe Community Forum was held from 6pm on 24 July 2019.  As usual the Forum started with an hour-long drop-in session where members of the public were able to view displays by Stagecoach East, Gawn Associates and the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, as well as talk to decision makes in all the major organisations involved in Northstowe.

 

At 7pm the Co-Chairs, South Cambridgeshire District Councillors’ Alex Malyon and Sarah Cheung Johnson opened with a brief introduction to the new Code of Conduct.  The presentations were attended by approximately 70 people in person and 10 digitally attending via the livestream.

 

This was followed by an update from Stephanie Redgate, the Head of Pathfinder Church of England Primary School and Andy Daly, Executive principle of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, which operates both Swavesey Village College and the new Northstowe Secondary College in Phase 2.  Due to rain delaying works the secondary school will open three weeks after the start of term.  They explained that for this period an arrangement has been made to utilise an unoccupied part of Pathfinder Primary School in a way that will not disrupt the education of either Primary or Secondary school pupils.

 

Andrew Thompson, principle planner for the Northstowe development at the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service gave an update on the difficulties of planning enforcement.  He advised that as the ultimate end sanction would be legal action, the quality of evidence collected by residents should as high as possible, although a quick resolution to a dispute should not be expected.  Some planning disputes can last for years.  The Longstanton District Councillors have called a meeting of the Northstowe house builders to address this issue.

 

Dr Suzanne Hamilton and Dr David Ward gave an update on the services available at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which from Northstowe is as easily accessible as Addenbrooke’s hospital, with the advantage that waiting times are generally less.  They noted that this has the advantage of freeing up much needed capacity at Addenbrook's.

 

Leslie Gawn of Gawn Associates spoke about the Proposed ‘Digital Park’ development of 100 houses, to the west of station road, immediately south of the Guided Busway.  The land is currently occupied by both derelict and active industrial units. 

 

This development is part of the land allocated for Phase 3b and as such shall make up part of the allocated 5500 houses.  He displayed site plans containing a small play area, access to the guided bus way and a pond.  Gawn Associates confirmed they are working closely with Homes England to integrate their plans into the rest of Northstowe.

 

Philip Harker of Homes England gave an overview of the timeline of activities in Phase 2.  He confirmed that pedestrian access to the new secondary school on Stirling way in Phase 2 would be ready by the time pupils will require access in September.  Stephen Sage confirmed that a combined cycle/pedestrian route through Phase 1 would also be complete in time.  The vehicular route will terminate in a turning circle by the school, and no further access will be permitted further into the Phase 2 site.  Pedestrian and cycle access from Rampton Drift will be provided.

 

The first house occupations in Phase 2a are expected in 2020, and completion of the landscaping and paths around the Phase 2 lakes and first play area are expected to occur around the same time.

 

Jon London of South Cambridgeshire District Council updated the room on the Community Wing booking process and also the Phase 1 allotments.  He confirmed that the S106 money and land has now been transferred to the Council.  He also announced the formation of a new community led allotments association for Northstowe. 

 

He then passed on to Chloe Menown, local resident and chair of the new group.   She explained that the soil was much better than last year and that moisture had been wicked out of the soil by weed growth.  The allotment group and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to allow the S106 money to be stretched as far as possible with additional grants, and are working towards an October opening date.

 

The Questions from the Community section lead off with some specific questions from Longstanton Parish Council to L & Q (formerly Gallaghers)

 

Question 1: The open spaces between Longstanton and the Western Park received planning approval November 2016.  Area 3 is ‘Habitat Creation’ which will include planting of trees which will act as a noise barrier between Northstowe sports pitches and the existing residents in Longstanton.  When can we expect the work to start on these areas?  It is currently been used by residents to hang out and cause damage to the existing wildlife there. 

 

L&Q Answer: Landscaping works for the areas shown on the attached General Arrangement drawing are included in the current works for the Western Park that commenced at the end of May and scheduled for completion at the end of December. Area 3 that you refer to is I believe the existing wooded area (shown in block green) in the south/west corner of the Western Park site. As you can see we are not due to carry out any additional planting in this area as there are already mature trees/shrubs here. The entire Western Park site is currently fenced and our Contractors check the fence line once a week for breaches.

 

Question 2: What are the plans to remove the rubbish currently in the Kingfisher pond including chairs, cardboard boxes, etc.?

 

L&Q Answer: Our Contractor have removed builders waste/rubbish deposited in the moated area by kids. The inherited debris in the pond itself is not easy to get to safely but we plan to remove this when we carry out temporary works to install the Timber Viewing platform on the east side, sometime in September.

 

Question 3: When will remedial work be undertaken on the Attenuation Ponds meaning that the landscaping can commence?

 

L&Q Answer: Currently we anticipate carrying out landscaping to the Hatton’s Road ponds next year.

 

In addition to this we learned that due to a 30% cost overrun on quotes there has been a delay to the Formal Park, play areas & Northern Greenway.  Until this issue is resolved L & Q are unable to give a revised completion estimate, however the western park should be completed and ready for use by next summer.

 

The next Northstowe Community Forum will be held on the 6th of November.

  • Chairs’ Welcome with Co-Chairs Councillor’s Alex Malyon and Sarah Cheung Johnson.
  • Andy Daly from Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust and Stephanie  Redgate from Pathfinder Church of England Primary School discusses the update on the Secondary School.
  • Andrew Thompson from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service discusses Planning Enforcement.
  • Dr Suzanne Hamilton and Dr David Ward from North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust discuss your Local Hospital Services at Hinchingbrooke.
  • Leslie Gawn from Gawn Associates discusses the Proposed Development at Digital Park, Station Road, Longstanton.
  • Philip Harker from Homes England discusses the update on Phase 2 Works.
  • Jon London of South Cambridgeshire District Council discusses the Community Wing, Allotments and Orchards Land.
  • Questions from the Community. We ask you to keep your question to two sentences as we will only have time for a limited number of questions.
  • As a trial this Forum will be livestreamed on the Northstowe Community Facebook page. Members of the public will not be filmed.

We recognise that not everyone who wants to participate can attend.

There is an unstaffed children’s play area & library available for you to use. Please feel free to organise with other parents to use this facility so that you can view the parts of the Forum that interest you most.

Latecomers are welcome. We understand that you may not be able to commute in time to arrive for 7pm. If you are only free after this time, please feel free to attend when you can.

If you have a question you would like to have asked but are unable to attend please email Northstowe.Community@scambs.gov.uk by the day before the forum and it will be put to the Chair to ask in your place.

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