Waterbeach New Town Community Forum: 9 January 2019

This Waterbeach New Town Community Forum meeting took place on 9 January 2019.


1) Cambridgeshire County Council - Transport Update including Cody Road and A10

2) South Cambs District Council - Supplementary Planning Document update following consultation

3) Cambridgeshire County Council - Education Overview

4) Waterbeach Parish Council - Comments regarding the Supplementary Planning Document

Cllr Anna Bradnam opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the forum and advised that the Northern Fringe Area Action Plan and the draft Statement of Community Involvement are both to be consulted on for a period of six weeks starting in February. Once open these can be accessed via our website. 

Transport Update

David Allatt and Tam Parry from Cambridgeshire County Council, Transport Assessment Team gave a presentation covering the railway Station, the monitor and manage approach and the Urban and Civic Phase 1 Mitigation.

Moving the station will overcome existing constraints at the current site. For example, safety concerns associated with the level crossing, limited car and cycle parking provision, pedestrian access, service frequency and station facilities. The move will enable new the town development and rail growth by future proofing for longer and higher frequency trains, increased car and cycle parking, taxi and bus interchange, park and ride and sustainable access.

Permanent access from the A10 to the relocated railway station will be secured through the Masterplan applications. Temporary consented access will be from Cody Road, the road is an adopted highway that meets the Cambridgeshire County Council width standards. The junction of Cody Road and Bannold Road is acceptable as temporary access for the relocated station and it is already served by bus.

A mini bus service linking the new station to the existing village will be put in place as well as improvements such as the widened footway in Cody Road, safety improvements on High Street/Bannold Road, new footway on Bannold Road, improved cycling facilities on Bannold Drove and a contribution towards improvements to cycle safety on Way Lane.

For the Urban and Civic application of 6,500 dwellings and associated land uses, a monitor and manage approach will be taken that allows phase 1 of 1,600 dwellings to be delivered, which will be able to mitigate its own impact. The approach will allow flexibility so transport solutions can evolve, protecting the transport network and enabling the future delivery of strategic measures. Each phase of development will require a separate transport assessment and mitigation will be agreed on a phase by phase basis.

The A10 Ely to Cambridge Study identifies a number of schemes that are being developed by the Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Without additional capacity on the A10 or other strategic transport investment, the development will be limited beyond phase 1. A flexible strategic financial contribution will be made towards the delivery of the strategic mitigation associated with future phases.

For Phase 1, a multi modal mitigation package will be put in place for phase 1, secured by S106 or condition. This will include a new high quality cycle route to Cambridge, including a temporary bridge over A10, improvements to the existing cycle route along the A10 and through Milton. It will also provide a connection to the Greenway route into Cambridge and local traffic calming and safety schemes.

There will be new bus services and a package of measures to improve access to the existing station as well as improvements at junctions on the A10. Measures to encourage sustainable travel will be put in place in the early stages and all trips and modes of travel will be monitored throughout the life of the development.

Supplementary Planning Document update following consultation

David Roberts, Principal Planning Policy Officer from South Cambridgeshire District Council gave feedback on the Waterbeach New Town Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultation process.

The local plan allocates land between Waterbeach village and Denny Abbey for the development of a new town under Policy SS/6. The policy requires an SPD to be prepared to give further guidance and detail.

A public consultation on the draft SPD was held for 6 weeks between 14 September and 26 October 2018.

361 representations were received, made by 96 respondents. Of these 58% were objections, 37% consisted of comments and 5% were supports.

Issued raised included, spatial layout, building heights and dwelling capacity, relocated railway station, ransom and delivery issues, flood risk, schools and air pollution, water recycling, village separation, SPD process and equestrian issues.

Officers have met with Waterbeach Cycling Campaign, Waterbeach and District Bridleways Group, the Environment Agency and Cambridgeshire County Council to better understand some of the issues raised. These meetings have influenced a number of proposed changes.

The consultation statement presents a Council response to each issue and where appropriate includes proposed changes to the SPD. In summary, as a result of the consultation, proposed changes have been recommended in relation to, spatial layout, flood risk and equestrian issues. Further legal advice is awaited regarding the issue of ‘ransom’ and no changes are proposed in relation to, building heights and dwelling capacity, relocated railway station and delivery issues.

A report on the consultation and proposed changes will be considered South Cambridgeshire District Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee on January 22 prior to Cabinet on 6 February. 

Education Overview

Rob Lewis and Juliet Richardson from Cambridgeshire County Council gave an overview of the planned education provision covering, early years, primary, secondary, post 16 and Special Educational needs.

There will be five primary schools, each with early years provision. The size of the schools will range from 3-4 form entry. In addition there will be one, probably 2 secondary schools, ranging in size from 8 -12 form entry depending on demand. Sites are secured for a post 16 and Special Educational Needs schools. Final decisions on these will be made following a strategic review process.

The first primary school will be delivered by Urban and Civic early in phase 1, it will include on site provision for early years. The phasing of future schools will be determined based on development across both sites. The secondary school will be delivered by Urban and Civic during phase 2.

Cottenham Village College will be used to meet demand from early homes and the final provision will be determined as demand across both sites is understood.

Waterbeach Parish Council's Comments on the Supplementary Planning Document

Barbara Bull, Chair of Waterbeach Parish Council thanked everyone who made representations on the draft SPD. The parish feel that the classification of the representations does not appear consistent as some of those classed as a comment include the word object within the text.

The parish considers that the consultation portal is inadequate as it does not allow scanned representations or supporting documents to be accessed (this was due to an IT issue which has now been resolved).

The parish council have made a formal complaint about the handling of the SPD consultation regarding the unacceptable timeline as the consultation started before formal approval of the local plan, and before changes to meet the Inspector’s comments had been released. The version for comment did also not include changes requested by our Scrutiny Committee.

The parish have raised concerns about the density of development and heights, the layout in relation to the village, access and transport, social and infrastructure provision, siting of the primary school and SEN school near to the A10, public transport, sustainable drainage systems, the problems associated with the waste management park and water supply.

The parish is concerned that there is no evidence of collaborative working of the landowners, key stakeholders and the council and stressed that measures need to be in place to ensure the plan is monitored, managed and reviewed from the outset. Questions were raised in relation to the next stage of the SPD process, in particular when the final version will be circulated and will there be a full disposition of comments and how they have been addressed.

The parish took the opportunity to reiterate its original comments in relation to the Urban & Civic application and does not believe the recent amendments address the substantive issues raised in their objection, they therefore maintain their recommendation of refusal. They strongly object to the determination of the application being undertaken until the SPD is approved so that the application can be properly assessed against it.

Reference was made to the many major consultations and planning applications that the parish has to consider and respond to, noting the large number of documents and information that has to be processed and stressed that more co-ordination is needed, requesting more engagement in respect of the SPD and S106 agreements.

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