Waterbeach New Town Community Forum: 14 March 2018

This Waterbeach New Town Community Forum meeting took place on 14 March 2018.


1) South Cambs District Council - Local Plan and Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

2) RLW Estates - Update

3) Urban and Civic - Update

4) Cambridgeshire County Council - Ely to Cambridge Transport Study 

The forum held on the 14 March 2018 was the first of a new series of quarterly forums that will provide an opportunity for local people to come together with developers, planners, councillors and officers from the County and District Councils to discuss local development plans in Waterbeach.

Representatives from neighbouring parishes of Landbeach, Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Milton also attended the meeting that was chaired by Cllr Tim Wotherspoon, portfolio holder for strategic planning and infrastructure at South Cambs District Council. The meetings are open to all.

Local Plan

David Roberts – Principal Planning Officer, South Cambridgeshire District Council talked through the local plan update explaining that the consultation on the modifications to the plan had been completed in February and that the representations received have been sent to the inspector. 24 objections have been received from Waterbeach. The next step is for the Inspector to consider the representations. Unless any further hearings are exceptionally required the next step is for the Inspector to issue her report on the Local Plan examination to the council. Subject to her report and any required modifications, plan adoption would follow at a Council later this year.

Supplementary Planning Document

Andrew Winter – Principal Planning Officer, South Cambridgeshire District Council gave an overview of the draft SPD which is the council’s local guidance for Waterbeach. Once adopted the SPD will form a material consideration in the determination of any planning application on the site, with the guiding principals being; priority to sustainable travel modes, mixed use neighbourhoods, community establishment, healthy communities, sustainable drainage systems, climate change mitigation and adaption, integrated and enhanced biodiversity, noise and air quality mitigation.

Once the draft document is completed, there will be a 6-week period of consultation to follow. After considering the need for any modifications following the consultation, adoption of the SPD would follow after the adoption of the Local Plan. Concern was raised by residents regarding bus routes to and from the site, the lack of provision of a police and fire station and the need for a new healthcare facility.

Update from RLW Estates

Chris Goldsmith and Neil Dines from RLW Estates provided an update on their vision for the development, explaining that the two sites (RLW and Urban and Civic) will be complementary but with separate identities. The design will feature housing layouts which discourage car use and promote sustainable movement. The development will feature mixed age housing to create a sense of community and bring forward jobs and homes for future generations.

A planning application will be submitted for 4,500 homes and this includes the relocation of the railway station to the south east of the development site. This is a requirement of the Ely to Cambridge Transport Study, in addition the new station will have longer, wider platforms making it possible for 8 carriage trains to use the station. There will also be a 500 space park and ride to the north of the station and shuttle buses from the south of the existing village. The walking distance between the existing and new station is approximately 20 minutes.

Update from Urban and Civic

Tim Leathes and Rebecca Brittan from Urban and Civic provided an update explaining that in 2014 they won a competition to be development manager of the land owned by the Ministry of Defence. They now manage the site and have submitted an outline planning application for 6,500 homes and associated infrastructure. As a result of the initial consultation there will be some changes made to the application, this further information will be submitted in May, after which there will be a further period of consultation prior to a decision by our Planning Committee, hopefully in September.

From June some of the staff of the Royal Papworth Hospital will take up residence on the site in key worker housing. Shuttle buses will transport staff from Waterbeach to the new hospital site at Addenbrooke's. This will be linked to shift patterns and will be mainly off-peak. A travel plan will be put in place once they know who will be living on site and how this can benefit the local area.

In response to a question regarding the provision of school places, Juliet Richardson of Cambridgeshire County Council explained the process that is used to determine the number of primary and secondary schools required and the timing of their provision. It was suggested that education should be included as an agenda item at a future forum meeting as this was a subject that is of a lot of interest.

Ely to Cambridge Transport Study

Chris Poultney from Cambridgeshire County Council outlined the findings of the Ely to Cambridge Transport Study. The study is now complete and has been to the Greater Cambridge Partnership, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Combined Authority.

It is a large study area, more than just the A10 as it also includes the highways and by ways around the area. The study is multi modal looking at rail, road, cycle, walking and rapid transit. The study has set out the scope for strategic solutions, however, the detail of the solutions will be worked up in the next phase. The study recommends a package of measures, including encouraging a shift away from car, tighter policy positions on car parking, measures to discourage rat running on parallel routes, improvements to junctions along the A10 and major investment in additional highway capacity on the A10.

The combined authority will take the lead on taking the proposals forward alongside partners to develop a clear, ambitious delivery timetable.

Responses required for the following questions raised at the meeting

  • How many additional car journeys will there be to the new train station?
  • How often will the measures identified in the study be reviewed once they are introduced?

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