North East Cambridge Community Forum

North East Cambridge Forum

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) have been running community forums for several years. These are open, public meetings bringing together stakeholders, residents, planners and developers to discuss and disseminate information regarding the development of specific major growth sites. They have no powers, funding or voting rights but help dialogue between those building and those most affected by the development. They have been chaired by local, or relevant, Councillors and assisted by senior officers at the meetings. Notes and presentations of the meetings are recorded and posted on the local authorities web-pages.

North East Cambridge (NEC) includes 182 hectares of brownfield land, just a 15-minute cycle ride from the city centre. Funding from central government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to relocate the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the area and create a significant new city district.  The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service are developing an Area Action Plan for the North East Cambridge area to guide all development in the area over the next 20 years.

Due to the cross-boundary nature of the proposed developable area, SCDC and City Councils are working together to facilitate this community forum which aims to provide a space for local residents to engage with developers and public sector bodies about NEC.

The forum has an alternating Chair and includes representatives from:

  • South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Greater Cambridge Planning Service
  • Cambridgeshire County Council 

Please note: This forum will be taking place virtually on Zoom until further notice. Attendees are reminded that these virtual forums are being recorded but that individual attendees will not be recorded, only the Chair and presenters. Your name may be read out and recorded if a question is asked. The raised hand function can be used to ask verbal questions. 

Next meeting: 9 February 2022

Time: from 6pm
Format: Zoom webinar (link below)
Agenda: To be confirmed 

Click here to join Zoom webinar

If you would like to ask a question at the next meeting, please forward this request to north@scambs.gov.uk. Equally, if you would like a question answered or specific theme or topic discussed at the next meeting, please forward this to the same email address above. 

Future meetings 

  • 29 June 2022 
  • 5 October 2022 

Terms of reference

North East Cambridge Community Forum Terms of
Reference


Aims

  • to provide residents and stakeholders with regular updates regarding strategic
    development sites
  • to provide an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to share their
    interests / concerns with relevant council officers, including those from the
    Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service (‘Planning’) and Sustainable
    Communities and Wellbeing (‘Communities’) teams, Elected Members,
    developers and other key stakeholders such as Cambridgeshire County
    Council and Anglian Water.


Scope and purpose

  • The developments covered by this forum those comprising the wider North
    East Cambridge Area Action Plan site.
  • To provide regular, accurate and timely information to residents regarding the
    above developments.
  • To offer an opportunity for residents to raise issues of interest or concern for
    existing and new communities with a view to enhancing the quality of
    community life and the environment in the wider North East Cambridge area.
  • For council officers to share issues raised by residents with relevant parties
    and report back responses and / or that appropriate action has been taken.
  • To provide information and signposting on planning and growth matters.
  • To provide an opportunity for developer/s, residents, community groups,
    elected members and council officers to engage with each other.
  • From time to time, to provide opportunities for residents to be consulted and
    involved in the planning, co-design and management of associated facilities
    and services.
  • The forum does not have decision-making powers and cannot be held
    accountable for growth and related issues.
  • Minor developments may be covered by this forum from time to time, but the
    developments listed above will take priority.


Structure, management and format

  • The forum will have alternating facilitators representing South Cambridge
    District Council and Cambridge City Council.
  • There will be a maximum of 4 ‘open to all’ formal meetings a year, where
    appropriate, and other forms of engagement where necessary.
  • Venues, where appropriate, will be spread around the different catchment
    area/s for the new development(s) to ensure all residents have an opportunity
    to attend.
  • The frequency and format of individual meetings will be determined by senior
    Planning and Communities officers in consultation with the Chair based on the
    progress of each specific development.
  • Meeting dates will be set, wherever possible, on a rolling basis a year in
    advance.
  • Where development sites straddle Local Authority boundaries, the tasks of
    organising and chairing the events will be shared between South
    Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council (‘shared
    forums’).
  • A range of methods will be used to deliver the forum. The most appropriate
    format will be chosen for the meeting in consultation with attendees and in
    accordance with the circumstances and government guidance available at the
    time, that is to say in person forums (which will include drop-ins), virtual
    meetings or a hybrid of these. For virtual meetings Zoom Webinar will be
    used.


Communication and publicity

  • A range of measures will be used to communicate to residents about the
    forums, including local advertising via flyers, web page, existing parish
    publications, email and social media.
  • For shared forums, online content will be available on both South
    Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council’s websites.
  • Where possible and practicable, officers at each Council will upload content
    within 10 days.
  • A rolling agenda will be posted online so residents are aware of proposed
    future topics for discussion.
  • Questions will be posted online so that attendees can see the issues that
    have been raised and addressed at past meetings.
  • Presentations, notes and recordings of the meetings will be published online.
  • A distribution list will be developed and maintained based on registered forum
    attendees and any others wishing to be kept informed. A registration form will
    be available on the relevant forum’s web page/s.
  • Surveys and feedback mechanisms will be employed from time to time to
    ensure forums are meeting residents’ needs and to facilitate continuous
    improvement.
  • Agendas will be published no later than 7 days prior to the meeting.


Lead Officer

Ryan Coetsee - Development Officer (North), South Cambridgeshire District Council
Julian Adams - Growth Project Officer, Cambridge City Council
Contact – waterbeach.community@scambs.gov.uk

 

Community forum code of conduct

All delegates attending Forum events, must undertake to:

  • Treat all people with respect and act in a way which does not discriminate against or exclude any-one
  • Act in a fair and responsible way to all

All people coming to Forum events agree by their presence that they will:

  • Observe the authority of the Chair or facilitator at all times
  • Listen quietly to and respect the views and experiences of other people contributing
  • Agree to and follow the standard of behaviour expected at each event, according to what is happening at that event. (e.g. no interrupting or shouting)
  • Allow others to have equal opportunity and time to share their opinions
  • Not use inflammatory language or behaviour of any kind

If the above values are not met during a meeting or event, the Chair, facilitator or nominated officer may take one or more of the following steps with the objective of restoring order.

Any person making offensive, insulting, threatening, provocative, slanderous or obscene remarks, or who becomes boisterous, or who threatens or harasses any person or property while at a Forum event, will cause the event to be suspended for the shortest period needed to allow order to be restored.

Any person or people causing an event to be interrupted by reason of behaviours identified above, who does so more than once, can be asked to leave the event by the Chair or staff at the event. This can be for a specific length of time to allow the person or people to cool off or for the rest of the meeting or event, depending on the judgement of the Chair or staff present.

Where the Chair believes that:

  • The event has become unmanageable, unnecessarily interrupted, harassed or hindered more than once by the same person or people,
  • There has been behaviour which threatens the safety of him or herself or others present, the Chair may opt to suspend the meeting or event until order is restored or to end the meeting, or event, if they feel that it is appropriate.
  • Any person or persons causing through their behaviour, any other individual or individuals present at a Forum event to fear for their personal safety may be subject to immediate removal from the event and/or the event premises.

Contact

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Previous meetings

North East Cambridge - Update

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

Significant revisions have been made to the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan in response to the thousands of comments received in the Draft Plan consultation last year. The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service have published the Proposed Submission version of the Plan for scrutiny by councillors through the committee processes of both Councils. The documents are now live and can be found on the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan webpage.

This version is intended to be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination by the independent Planning Inspectorate. Once Councillors have reviewed and commented on the Area Action Plan, they will decide whether to approve it for public consultation ahead of submission to the Secretary of State.

However, the Councils are clear that the Plan will only be able to progress to public consultation after the separate Development Consent Order process for the relocation of the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant has concluded. This is because the Area Action Plan is being prepared on the basis that the existing Waste Water Treatment Plant will be relocated off-site, which will enable this new district to come forward, and the Development Consent Order is an important part of showing that our plan can be delivered.

Core Site

U+I and TOWN, the developers responsible for master planning the Core Site in partnership with Cambridge City Council and Anglian Water, have undertaken a number of initial meetings with local stakeholders and community organisations over the last six months, as part of their early engagement around the project. The purpose of these meetings has been to introduce the Core Site and the team behind it, to set out the project vision and values, and to gain a preliminary understanding of local perspectives.

This process of engagement and dialogue will continue and expand in early 2022, with the publication of a project website, and a community launch event on 26 February. This will give members of the community the opportunity to meet the project team, explore the vision for Core Site, and help shape plans for the project at a very early stage in development.

Anglian Water

  • Phase 2 Consultation (CON2) took place between 23 June and 18 August 2021, the purpose being to help shape and develop Anglian Water's vision for the relocation project.

  • Anglian Water has been analysing the feedback from CON2 from community stakeholders, technical stakeholders and statutory stakeholders​ and these responses are being evaluated alongside a range of other criteria to further develop the design.​

  • Anglian Water submitted a Scoping Report to PINS (Governments Planning Inspectorate) in early November and the Scoping Report was in consultation until 18 November 2021​. The Planning Inspectorate response is expected by the end of 2021.

  • Anglian Water has published its CON2 Summary Report which reports back on how the design has evolved following the CON2 Stakeholder Feedback.

  • During summer and autumn 2021, the design and mitigations evolved based on CON2 responses and continued engagement with stakeholders through technical working group meetings and bilaterals.

  • Strategic stakeholder engagement continues ahead of the final phase of consultation in early spring 2022.

  • Phase Three Consultation will be published early spring 2022 and will include the Preliminary Environmental Report together with detailed design and mitigation proposals.

Where: Virtual meeting - Zoom

Attendance: Approximately 30 people

Additional feedback: Following the Forum on 7 July, we did not get a very large cross-section of responses on our survey so we are running this again here and will send out the survey to our contact list. Please do complete this survey and help us to shape future Community Forums.

Note: For those with accessibility needs, YouTube has a "captions" feature that can be enabled when the embedded videos are watched on their platform.

Questions from the meeting follow after the video.

Timestamps of presentations and Q&A:

Scroll for more

Presenter

Timestamp

Hana Loftus - Planning Policy, Greater Cambridge Planning

4:32

Matthew Paterson - Planning Policy, Greater Cambridge Planning

08:59

Fiona Bryant - Strategic Director, Cambridge City Council

39:10

Karen Barclay - Head of Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Programme, Anglian Water

1:00:32

General Q&A

1:15:36

Answered questions

I saw from your slides that Belsar's Hill Fort was one of the inspirations for new STP. How far are you planning to make the plant a visual feature in the landscape using this historical theme and how much are you hoping to use the banks to hide the plant as something to be concealed?

The design for the new Cambridge Waste Water Treatment plant is driven from a landscape-led approach. The design takes its inspiration from the local Fen-edge character, both past and present of local hill forts such as Fleam Dyke and Devil’s Dyke and circular Iron Age hill forts such as Wandlebury Ring and Belsar’s Hill

Our design proposals will support and, over time, enhance the natural environment and make a positive contribution to the local landscape and ecology beyond the facility’s boundary.

The 22-hectare plant, enveloped within a high circular earthwork bank, will be a visible feature and will also blend in as it matures, both screening the facility and creating new habitat for wildlife.

It will effectively screen all but the tallest elements of the facility from all directions. Further screening will come through additional tree and grassland planting within a site area around 94 hectares. The area surrounding the facility’s boundary is being designed to support and complement local projects and goals such as Wicken Fen vision and Cambridge Nature Networks.

We are hoping our proposals stimulate dialogue and feedback and you can provide that during our second phase of consultation, closing on 18 August.

Where are you planning to 'find' additional green open space?

We are reducing the amount of new commercial floorspace, which helps address the balance of land uses across the NEC area and also releases land for additional open space provision.

Who are your leads for the needs/requirements/opportunities for arts/leisure/music? The number of homes planned *plus* those immediately bordering the site more than justifies something that serves the northern half of Cambridge. (Have you invited someone from The Junction? Or other successful places such as the Komedia in Brighton?

LDA Design were commissioned to prepare the Cultural Placemaking Strategy [PDF] [PDF] for NEC. Michelle Lord, Senior Arts Development Officer was one of the officer leads assisting the consultants. With respect to The Junction, the strategy references the renewal of the facilities at this venue and proposes the AAP puts an emphasis on studio, individual, and collective arts development, to compliment not duplicate the Junction’s provision. It also draws on the recent studies by CCC, which show that demand for a large-scale venue does not currently exist, but scope for a moderate scale venue does (an approximate capacity of up to 300 people).  The Strategy therefore proposes provision of a community facility, similar to Eddington’s Storey’s Field Centre, that is capable of hosting regular music, performing arts, theatre and drama use.

Will this development trigger a better / more comprehensive remodelling of the Milton A10/A14 junction ... Are you aware of the real problems with the current lane markings and road widths?

Whilst the Combined Authority is working on a strategic solution for the A10 corridor solution as a whole, the Transport Evidence base for the NEC [PDF] [PDF] is not dependent on the delivery of major highway works. Only minor changes would be required to the site accesses on Milton Road to accommodate the impacts of redistributed highway traffic.

The trip budget approach is predicated on not loading the highway network with any more vehicular trips, and instead providing a comprehensive package of sustainable connectivity, as set out in the evidence base.

The Combined Authority will determine the most appropriate long term provision for the A10 corridor and associate junctions, but the approach to planning the NEC is based wholly on removing the need to exceed current vehicle movements, through a transformational infrastructure package, and a development mix and design that gives rise to a high level of internalisation (trips that occur exclusively within the AAP boundary).

Where: Virtual meeting - Zoom

Attendance: Approximately 120 people

Note: For those with accessibility needs, please be reminded that YouTube has a "captions" feature that can be enabled when the embedded videos are watched on their platform.

Questions from the meeting follow after the videos.

Welcome - Debbie Kaye, Head of Community Services, Cambridge City Council

Stephen Kelly - Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Hana Loftus - Engagement and Communications Lead, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Fiona Bryant - Strategic Director, Cambridge City Council

 

Karen Barclay - Head of Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Programme

Sally Roden - Neighbourhood Community Development Manager, Cambridge City Council

Live Q&A and Close

Summarised questions from the Q&A

Please note - There were over 70 questions posted on the night as well as via email. We have not published each question but looked to group answers into categories where there were duplicates.

What is an AAP?

AAP stands for "Area Action Plan" and is a form of planning framework that sets out what can be developed, where it can be developed and how it can be developed in each geographical area. It has equivalent weight to the Local Plan and therefore has a very significant role to play, with all the planning applications that come forward having to demonstrate that they are in conformity with the planning policies in the AAP.

Why were so many trees cut down near the railway station when the area is designated as low land ecological mitigation for the Cambridge North development?

The Local Authority is aware that surveys have been undertaken to look for amphibians and bats, but planning permission was not needed to remove those trees. Any breach of a planning condition for the work undertaken on Network Rail land will be looked in to. We are conscious of the concerns that have been raised and we are looking into that.

Anglian Water have stated there is no current operational need to move existing water treatment plant. At a time of economic crisis and without the need post Covid for office and retail space. Is the £227 million of government grant justified?

The question about whether that is a good use of money is for the government to decide. In terms of the economic regeneration opportunity that it unlocks and the homes and the jobs that the project will bring, especially in a post Covid environment, it is projects such as this that are going to play a really important role, economically, in terms of helping us recover from this pandemic.

There's room to update the plant on site, we should be improving the water treatment, so the effluent is safe to put back in the river. We could get water for use from it and so would the cost of improving the existing site be less than moving it?

The government have given this funding to accelerate homes in an area of high demand and I think if we did consolidate on the site, and that was technically feasible, then obviously the opportunity and the business case for funding just would not add up. Also, from a perspective of feasibility, because there is not an operational need to move, Anglian Water are not funded for from our usual regulatory routes to be able to consolidate on site. Therefore, ultimately, I think the project would fall away in its entirety.

Will a large new community arts centre, at least the size of the Junction, in Cambridge be built and one that makes up for the shortage of facilities for teenagers?

There is an emerging cultural and creative strategy requirement across the area and that sort of, cultural and creative space, on the core site and across the AAP area, will be highlighting the emerging needs via the strategy.  Some of the work, at this stage of the process is to identify what the community infrastructure requirements may well be. This includes the educational requirements and the expectation that the education investment to support the communities, includes those multi community access agreements to make the very best use of the new spaces that are created.  As elements of the plan are refined, such as the housing mix, there will become greater clarity in terms of delivery of some forms of community infrastructure because that process is obviously relatively fluid in some areas including education. We would expect to be able to identify more clearly what the requirements are associated with each phase and each specific project within the area action plan. The objective and ambition is to create a place in which people can enjoy and live vibrant lives and inclusive lives with all the amenities that you expect from living in a city like Cambridge.  It is important to understand what can be delivered on this site what the surrounding community infrastructure and facilities can also provide and how they can link together to the city centre and outwards into the countryside.

 

The redevelopment of Milton Rd is a key dependency for the NEC AAP the start of the work on this is now planned to start in April 21 rather than September 20. We are concerned that this delay will leave the road in its current dreadful state and if there are funding issues it may not happen. Is the NEC project doing anything to get the work started by the original start date?

The progress on the Milton Rd scheme is something the County Council are keen to drive forward as quickly as possible. From a transport perspective we do recognise that to harness the growth of this area we really need to create a significant behavioural shift which is about connecting the site with attractive public transport links, allowing excellent permutation through the area, crossing of the A10 and walking and cycling connections to the surrounding area.  The evidence-base sets that out that in terms of what would need to be provided and with a view to subsequently delivering that in advance of the development. There is a need to balance the current situation but also anticipate needs well into the future and the aim is to get to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 is when the government has committed to achieving net zero. There is also a need to start to look at things such as electric cars and mobility as a service, maybe not owning a car but renting a car when needed using a car club.  The use and charging of electric vehicles is also an important factor for the plans.

Active transport is fine for young able bodied how will provision be made for the less able and elderly who cannot walk far and certainly would find cycling a high-risk activity. We have many blue badge holders who cannot walk more than 100 metres from the car without assistance. How will the affected area be accessible to wheelchair users?

Whilst the approach is about reducing the number of car trips in and around the area, it is not about prohibiting the car altogether it is about making the car, perhaps, not the most attractive option for everybody because they will have a much safer and more accessible network of other alternatives.  Blue badge parking would be provided on street so if you have specific needs that is a different matter which would be accommodated, it is just trying to reduce the number of cars that are outside on the street and therefore making active and sustainable travel the easiest and most natural choice.  The aim is also at making life easier, so last mile delivery and hubs where residential deliveries can be collected or delivered to homes by different means which do not involve motorised traffic.

Could you clarify how the open space provision for North East Cambridge, as set out in section 5.3 of the draught area action plan, meets the Cambridge local plan requirements.

Open space is one of the key things brought up during the consultation. The adopted Cambridge City Local Plan standard is 2.2 hectares per thousand people but that is just for informal open space. There's also children's play provision and allotments and food growing areas as well.  Work is underway to maximise the potential to provide this within buildings and blocks as well, so residents’ courtyards and rooftop gardens will be a consideration. The aim is for real quality, multi-functional, spaces that can be used throughout the year for a range of activities, or different sports, and spaces that are multi-generational.   The spaces should not just be for those who are fit and healthy but can cater for a full range of ability and ages. There are a range of open spaces existing within the AAP area that ought to be taken into consideration and enhanced.

Taken from your terms of reference "This forum has no decision-making influence" "The forum will not consider non growth-related issues" "It does not have decision making powers" If people have concerns? About growth and density, growth and not enough water? Clean river and sewage, biodiversity and amount of green space?

This, and the other growth community forums, are intended not to duplicate or cut across existing democratic processes e.g., Area Committees, Parish Council meetings and Council Committee meetings.  Instead, they aim to engender a wider and less formal interaction and when held in community settings, have included a period before the presentations whereby all attending can mingle and ask questions of representatives (developers, Councillors, Council officers etc) in front of displays and maps.

As most businesses seem to be assuming that staff will continue to work more from home and commute less, its likely less people will need to move into the South East area. The huge demand for housing would therefore be reduced. I am concerned that housing will be too expensive for the ordinary people of Cambridge. Are you confident of need and the prohibitive cost to live here?

The Planning Authority and developers are working really closely with the housing teams for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Councils, so that we understand the need as it exists at this moment in time but also the projected need for future years.  There are a range of views about whether there is a continued housing need for the area post Covid.  In those areas and those sectors where we know that Cambridge has been really successful, we're also looking at trying to understand what the need is in those sectors so that if the area continues to grow we can identify and provide the right housing solution for those people so that they don't add to the pressure on existing homes and housing supply for local people.  It is also imperative that we don't end up with a mismatch of the wrong types of homes that either remain empty or get disposed of for buy-to-let which don't contribute positively to the place and the communities which lead to patterns of commuting that adds to the carbon footprint and leads to the erosion of our objectives around net zero carbon.

Has consideration being given to the reliability of a pumping sewage uphill. I understand the proposed new site is uphill.

In the site that we have chosen, it is quite favourable from the gravity perspective and in reality would require less pumping, but obviously the network in the catchment that we serve at the moment has varying degrees of where gravity helps us or not.  The original site that was chosen, for the existing site now, means that the additional run-off flows coming gravity fed and one of the advantages of the site that we have selected is that gravity will be a friend in that. Of course, it is a large catchment area that the existing site in the new facility would serve and there is a degree of pumping that's required to make sure that the flow reached the plant efficiently and also so that they move through the system and through the catchment in a really effective way, because the slower the sewage in the pipes obviously issues around septicity and everything can be created.  It is something that we are looking at as well as part of the relocation and its network and how the flows come in.  It is imperative that when the flows arrive at the new facility they arrived there as swiftly as possible without any septic issues.

Unanswered questions

Environment

To rely on Milton Country Park for additional 20,000 visitors would destroy the park. This is a chance to re-establish Chesterton Fen with balancing water run-off. What wild space/biodiversity is included in this plan?

The draft Area Action Plan does not rely on Milton Country Park and does include increasing access to Chesterton Fen and other improvements there. You can read more about the proposals that were in the consultation draft of the AAP on the Biodiversity SPD page.

In the light of Anglian Water having published their selected site to move the wastewater treatment works (WtW), when and how will the environmental costs of the development of the North East area be calculated and reviewed by the Planning Team?

The WtW relocation is subject to a separate process. The AAP will not consider the impacts of the relocation of the WtW as part of the AAP process – but assumes that the relocation to another site will take place. The existing local plan does not assume that any of Greater Cambridge’s future housing need is met from this site. As the Councils consider the spatial options available to meet the housing and employment needs identified for the next Local Plan, the role of this site and its relative benefits compared with any other option will be considered through the Local Plan process. That process includes Strategic Environmental Assessment which will look at the cumulative effects of any proposed policy choice for meeting that need and will consider how it compares, for example, with the development of other options that might deliver the same outcomes for homes, jobs etc. 

Is it worth the risk building this development while compromising the Wicken Fen Vision and the sensitive SSSI Quy Fen?

Anglian Water’s site selection process carefully considered SSSI sites and applied buffers to ensure there are no impacts.  Stow-cum-Quy-Fen SSSI is approximately 1.2km from the boundary of the site area. Anglian Water are working with Natural England in relation to ensuring there are no impacts and are also in dialogue with National Trust to develop opportunities for enhancement within the Wicken Fen Vision area.

How will you ensure that the Strategic environmental assessment is enforced? Green Belt?

Strategic Environmental Assessment is an integral part of the local Plan process. The Process for examining the WtW relocation will also include consideration of the case for development in the green belt. An Environmental Impact Assessment will also form part of the WtW application.

Are you guaranteeing the development would be 100% sustainable (this includes zero carbon, water, biodiversity, waste)?

100% sustainability is difficult to define and therefore to guarantee. The draft Area Action Plan for North East Cambridge aims for ambitious carbon reduction, water reduction and biodiversity measures – and when adopted the AAP will become the planning framework of policies against which new developments coming forward will be assessed. 

The City Council/Anglian Water site is only one site within the new city district. At this stage for the Core site it would not be possible to make guarantees, as there are a wide number of factors that go into any development which may impact on sustainability including site constraints, orientation, AAP master-plan and policy requirements, funding etc. However, the Core site landowners have ambitious aspirations for the site in this regard, which will continue to be developed.

Housing

Surely the new homes cannot start being built until the old sewage works is vacated in 2028. How would any new residents get there in 2028?

The Council is confident that homes can be started prior to the WtW relocation. Homes can start to be constructed prior to full vacation of the site, but they may not be able to be occupied prior to the site being vacated. Additionally, as part of the planning process, any proposals for new homes within the AAP area will be considered by the council’s environmental health teams to ensure that existing site constraints, such as odour, noise, and other environmental issues, can be fully mitigated to ensure there is no adverse impact on those living in new homes within North East Cambridge.

How could the North East Cambridge development help communities like ours (co-housing, co-operative, community led housing)? The benefits of a ready-made resilient community, with fewer demands on local services, never seem to be considered when developments are planned. Can North East Cambridge be different?

The councils are considering a wide range of homes, jobs, services and facilities across the North East Cambridge AAP area which will serve both the new and existing communities. As part of the AAP, the councils are also looking to see how development can help existing neighbouring communities in terms of skills, jobs and training [PDF] [PDF]. A number of the developers involved in the AAP area are also experienced in community led housing schemes such as Marmalade Lane in Cambridge.

Where is the evidence of high demand? This area is a cash cow for the government. Is it right that taxpaying communities must take the brunt of this?

We know from the supporting documents for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan that between 2020-2041 we may need to provide between 4,000 and 26,000 additional homes in Greater Cambridge. This considers forecasts of household growth and economic growth in our area. We know that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Greater Cambridge which leads to many people having to live further away from where they work, which increases our carbon emissions from commuting – so building more homes, and more affordable homes, close to where jobs are located is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the area.

If you purchase 500 of the houses for Council Housing what will ensure that they are not sold off?

At the moment, the Right to Buy programme means that we cannot guarantee that Council homes won’t be sold, but we still own over 7,000 homes and are developing more.

You are planning more jobs than there are people who will live at the site. Doesn't that mean this development will need more housing and where will they be?

We heard a lot about the balance of jobs and homes as part of the Area Action Plan consultation. The vision for North East Cambridge is that it should be a mixed community where jobs and homes are located together, to create a vibrant place to live and work, but we are looking at this balance and doing further work in response to comments received.

Planning

How will you ensure the rest of the AAP area achieves the same objectives as the core site when other developers control it and they have 4 years before the plan comes into operation anyway?

We already have existing policies in place and the Planning Service will be working hard to ensure that developments that are proposed before the AAP is adopted do align with the wider vision for the area. However we do not anticipate that a lot of development is going to come forward earlier than the relocation of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

How do developments within the AAP that are already going ahead fit in within the plan? E.g. why have 100s of trees been chopped down already in this area, what can be done on plans for St Johns Innovation Park which fall far short of the high-quality cycling and walking standards proposed elsewhere? How will the GCP’s plans for Milton Road integrate with the project?

Until the adoption of the Area Action Plan, development proposals in this area will be considered against the existing Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plan policies. One of the policy requirements in both plans is to ensure that development that comes forward prior to the adoption of the AAP addresses pedestrian and cycling access and linkages, provides appropriate ecological mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures and ensures that development will not compromise opportunities for the redevelopment of the wider area.

The councils are engaging with the GCP as part of this project and seeking to align planned walking and cycling improvements with the AAP Spatial Framework. This includes not only the Milton Road project but also the Chisholm Trail, Waterbeach Greenway and ongoing work around the Waterbeach to Cambridge Public Transport Corridor.

Where is the money from the sale of the Cowley Road sewage plant site going?

The expectation is that the aspirations for the Core site development will mean that the overarching development costs will utilise a large proportion of land receipts, over and above that retained to meet landowner regulatory requirements. Reasonable landowner development return will be recycled by the Council into its services to residents, and Anglian Water to improvements and investment in assets for its customers. Much of the surplus over this, if there is any, up to the maximum HIF grant level, will be recycled to the Combined Authority for reinvestment in further housing.

When does Housing Infrastructure Funds have to be used by before it must be repaid to the government?

The funds need to be used by the end of March 2028. The proposed relocation will be funded by the Government’s initiative to help deliver housing in areas of high demand - the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).  The Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme of up to £5.5 billion. Nearly £4 billion has been allocated which will help to unlock up to 320,000 new homes.  Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis, providing grant funding for new infrastructure that will unlock new homes in the areas of greatest housing demand.  In March 2019, up to £227 million of funding was allocated to Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council from HIF for the relocation to support sustainable economic and housing growth in Cambridge.

Surely there is enough national and international discussion about the changes in working practises post-Covid, to trigger a rethink of the amount of office space allocated to the NECAAP development. Especially when one considers recent suggestions regarding Cambridge City Centre and change of use for empty office and retail space there.

All development within the AAP area will take new and developing future working practices into account, but it is far too early to tell what the longer-term trends will be post-Covid. As with the Greater Cambridge Local Plan, as evidence and data become available, we will be analysing it fully to understand how our plans may need to adapt as a result. Current evidence shows that, even in lockdown, there is a large proportion of the economy that continues to require employees to travel to work and we need to be careful not to assume a major reduction in employment space requirements, particularly given Greater Cambridge’s strengths in the life sciences and other sectors that cannot work from home.

To what extent will the Science Park make a contribution to community space and community facilities for residents e.g., cafes etc?

The draft Area Action Plan included a proposal for a new ‘local centre’ on the edge of the Science Park which would include local shops and services. There were some comments about the exact location and facilities here which the Planning Service are considering. The Science Park also makes an important contribution of open space and the proposals in the draft AAP will increase public access and use of this, which we feel is very positive.

North East Cambridge Forum

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) have been running community forums for several years. These are open, public meetings bringing together stakeholders, residents, planners and developers to discuss and disseminate information regarding the development of specific major growth sites. They have no powers, funding or voting rights but help dialogue between those building and those most affected by the development. They have been chaired by local, or relevant, Councillors and assisted by senior officers at the meetings. Notes and presentations of the meetings are recorded and posted on the local authorities web-pages.

North East Cambridge (NEC) includes 182 hectares of brownfield land, just a 15-minute cycle ride from the city centre. Funding from central government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to relocate the Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the area and create a significant new city district.  The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service are developing an Area Action Plan for the North East Cambridge area to guide all development in the area over the next 20 years.

Due to the cross-boundary nature of the proposed developable area, SCDC and City Councils are working together to facilitate this community forum which aims to provide a space for local residents to engage with developers and public sector bodies about NEC.

The forum has an alternating Chair and includes representatives from:

  • South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Greater Cambridge Planning Service
  • Cambridgeshire County Council 

Please note: This forum will be taking place virtually on Zoom until further notice. Attendees are reminded that these virtual forums are being recorded but that individual attendees will not be recorded, only the Chair and presenters. Your name may be read out and recorded if a question is asked. The raised hand function can be used to ask verbal questions. 

Next meeting 

Date: 9 February 2022
Time: 6pm - 7:30pm 
Format: Zoom webinar (link below)
Agenda: To be confirmed 

 

If you would like to ask a question at the next meeting, please forward this request to north@scambs.gov.uk. Equally, if you would like a question answered at the next meeting, please forward this to the same email address above. 

If you would like a specific topic or theme discussed at the next meeting, please email us your request. 

Future meetings 

  • 29 June 2022 
  • 5 October 2022 

Terms of reference

Please see our terms of reference [PDF, 74Kb] [PDF, 74Kb] here.

 

Community forum code of conduct

Valuing diversity

Collective responsibility

Contact list

If you would like to receive updates on future forums, please complete our online registration form.

 

Previous meetings

December 2021

July 2021

March 2021

Where: Virtual meeting - Zoom

Attendance: Approximately 120 people

Note: For those with accessibility needs, please be reminded that YouTube has a "captions" feature that can be enabled when the embedded videos are watched on their platform.

Questions from the meeting follow after the videos.

Welcome - Debbie Kaye, Head of Community Services, Cambridge City Council

Stephen Kelly - Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Hana Loftus - Engagement and Communications Lead, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Fiona Bryant - Strategic Director, Cambridge City Council

 

Karen Barclay - Head of Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation Programme

Sally Roden - Neighbourhood Community Development Manager, Cambridge City Council

Live Q&A and Close

Summarised questions from the Q&A

Please note - There were over 70 questions posted on the night as well as via email. We have not published each question but looked to group answers into categories where there were duplicates.

What is an AAP?

AAP stands for "Area Action Plan" and is a form of planning framework that sets out what can be developed, where it can be developed and how it can be developed in each geographical area. It has equivalent weight to the Local Plan and therefore has a very significant role to play, with all the planning applications that come forward having to demonstrate that they are in conformity with the planning policies in the AAP.

Why were so many trees cut down near the railway station when the area is designated as low land ecological mitigation for the Cambridge North development?

The Local Authority is aware that surveys have been undertaken to look for amphibians and bats, but planning permission was not needed to remove those trees. Any breach of a planning condition for the work undertaken on Network Rail land will be looked in to. We are conscious of the concerns that have been raised and we are looking into that.

Anglian Water have stated there is no current operational need to move existing water treatment plant. At a time of economic crisis and without the need post Covid for office and retail space. Is the £227 million of government grant justified?

The question about whether that is a good use of money is for the government to decide. In terms of the economic regeneration opportunity that it unlocks and the homes and the jobs that the project will bring, especially in a post Covid environment, it is projects such as this that are going to play a really important role, economically, in terms of helping us recover from this pandemic.

There's room to update the plant on site, we should be improving the water treatment, so the effluent is safe to put back in the river. We could get water for use from it and so would the cost of improving the existing site be less than moving it?

The government have given this funding to accelerate homes in an area of high demand and I think if we did consolidate on the site, and that was technically feasible, then obviously the opportunity and the business case for funding just would not add up. Also, from a perspective of feasibility, because there is not an operational need to move, Anglian Water are not funded for from our usual regulatory routes to be able to consolidate on site. Therefore, ultimately, I think the project would fall away in its entirety.

Will a large new community arts centre, at least the size of the Junction, in Cambridge be built and one that makes up for the shortage of facilities for teenagers?

There is an emerging cultural and creative strategy requirement across the area and that sort of, cultural and creative space, on the core site and across the AAP area, will be highlighting the emerging needs via the strategy.  Some of the work, at this stage of the process is to identify what the community infrastructure requirements may well be. This includes the educational requirements and the expectation that the education investment to support the communities, includes those multi community access agreements to make the very best use of the new spaces that are created.  As elements of the plan are refined, such as the housing mix, there will become greater clarity in terms of delivery of some forms of community infrastructure because that process is obviously relatively fluid in some areas including education. We would expect to be able to identify more clearly what the requirements are associated with each phase and each specific project within the area action plan. The objective and ambition is to create a place in which people can enjoy and live vibrant lives and inclusive lives with all the amenities that you expect from living in a city like Cambridge.  It is important to understand what can be delivered on this site what the surrounding community infrastructure and facilities can also provide and how they can link together to the city centre and outwards into the countryside.

The redevelopment of Milton Rd is a key dependency for the NEC AAP the start of the work on this is now planned to start in April 21 rather than September 20. We are concerned that this delay will leave the road in its current dreadful state and if there are funding issues it may not happen. Is the NEC project doing anything to get the work started by the original start date?

The progress on the Milton Rd scheme is something the County Council are keen to drive forward as quickly as possible. From a transport perspective we do recognise that to harness the growth of this area we really need to create a significant behavioural shift which is about connecting the site with attractive public transport links, allowing excellent permutation through the area, crossing of the A10 and walking and cycling connections to the surrounding area.  The evidence-base sets that out that in terms of what would need to be provided and with a view to subsequently delivering that in advance of the development. There is a need to balance the current situation but also anticipate needs well into the future and the aim is to get to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 is when the government has committed to achieving net zero. There is also a need to start to look at things such as electric cars and mobility as a service, maybe not owning a car but renting a car when needed using a car club.  The use and charging of electric vehicles is also an important factor for the plans.

Active transport is fine for young able bodied how will provision be made for the less able and elderly who cannot walk far and certainly would find cycling a high-risk activity. We have many blue badge holders who cannot walk more than 100 metres from the car without assistance. How will the affected area be accessible to wheelchair users?

Whilst the approach is about reducing the number of car trips in and around the area, it is not about prohibiting the car altogether it is about making the car, perhaps, not the most attractive option for everybody because they will have a much safer and more accessible network of other alternatives.  Blue badge parking would be provided on street so if you have specific needs that is a different matter which would be accommodated, it is just trying to reduce the number of cars that are outside on the street and therefore making active and sustainable travel the easiest and most natural choice.  The aim is also at making life easier, so last mile delivery and hubs where residential deliveries can be collected or delivered to homes by different means which do not involve motorised traffic.

Could you clarify how the open space provision for North East Cambridge, as set out in section 5.3 of the draught area action plan, meets the Cambridge local plan requirements.

Open space is one of the key things brought up during the consultation. The adopted Cambridge City Local Plan standard is 2.2 hectares per thousand people but that is just for informal open space. There's also children's play provision and allotments and food growing areas as well.  Work is underway to maximise the potential to provide this within buildings and blocks as well, so residents’ courtyards and rooftop gardens will be a consideration. The aim is for real quality, multi-functional, spaces that can be used throughout the year for a range of activities, or different sports, and spaces that are multi-generational.   The spaces should not just be for those who are fit and healthy but can cater for a full range of ability and ages. There are a range of open spaces existing within the AAP area that ought to be taken into consideration and enhanced.

Taken from your terms of reference "This forum has no decision-making influence" "The forum will not consider non growth-related issues" "It does not have decision making powers" If people have concerns? About growth and density, growth and not enough water? Clean river and sewage, biodiversity and amount of green space?

This, and the other growth community forums, are intended not to duplicate or cut across existing democratic processes e.g., Area Committees, Parish Council meetings and Council Committee meetings.  Instead, they aim to engender a wider and less formal interaction and when held in community settings, have included a period before the presentations whereby all attending can mingle and ask questions of representatives (developers, Councillors, Council officers etc) in front of displays and maps.

As most businesses seem to be assuming that staff will continue to work more from home and commute less, its likely less people will need to move into the South East area. The huge demand for housing would therefore be reduced. I am concerned that housing will be too expensive for the ordinary people of Cambridge. Are you confident of need and the prohibitive cost to live here?

The Planning Authority and developers are working really closely with the housing teams for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Councils, so that we understand the need as it exists at this moment in time but also the projected need for future years.  There are a range of views about whether there is a continued housing need for the area post Covid.  In those areas and those sectors where we know that Cambridge has been really successful, we're also looking at trying to understand what the need is in those sectors so that if the area continues to grow we can identify and provide the right housing solution for those people so that they don't add to the pressure on existing homes and housing supply for local people.  It is also imperative that we don't end up with a mismatch of the wrong types of homes that either remain empty or get disposed of for buy-to-let which don't contribute positively to the place and the communities which lead to patterns of commuting that adds to the carbon footprint and leads to the erosion of our objectives around net zero carbon.

Has consideration being given to the reliability of a pumping sewage uphill. I understand the proposed new site is uphill.

In the site that we have chosen, it is quite favourable from the gravity perspective and in reality would require less pumping, but obviously the network in the catchment that we serve at the moment has varying degrees of where gravity helps us or not.  The original site that was chosen, for the existing site now, means that the additional run-off flows coming gravity fed and one of the advantages of the site that we have selected is that gravity will be a friend in that. Of course, it is a large catchment area that the existing site in the new facility would serve and there is a degree of pumping that's required to make sure that the flow reached the plant efficiently and also so that they move through the system and through the catchment in a really effective way, because the slower the sewage in the pipes obviously issues around septicity and everything can be created.  It is something that we are looking at as well as part of the relocation and its network and how the flows come in.  It is imperative that when the flows arrive at the new facility they arrived there as swiftly as possible without any septic issues.

 

Unanswered questions

Environment

To rely on Milton Country Park for additional 20,000 visitors would destroy the park. This is a chance to re-establish Chesterton Fen with balancing water run-off. What wild space/biodiversity is included in this plan?

The draft Area Action Plan does not rely on Milton Country Park and does include increasing access to Chesterton Fen and other improvements there. You can read more about the proposals that were in the consultation draft of the AAP on the Biodiversity SPD page.

In the light of Anglian Water having published their selected site to move the wastewater treatment works (WtW), when and how will the environmental costs of the development of the North East area be calculated and reviewed by the Planning Team?

The WtW relocation is subject to a separate process. The AAP will not consider the impacts of the relocation of the WtW as part of the AAP process – but assumes that the relocation to another site will take place. The existing local plan does not assume that any of Greater Cambridge’s future housing need is met from this site. As the Councils consider the spatial options available to meet the housing and employment needs identified for the next Local Plan, the role of this site and its relative benefits compared with any other option will be considered through the Local Plan process. That process includes Strategic Environmental Assessment which will look at the cumulative effects of any proposed policy choice for meeting that need and will consider how it compares, for example, with the development of other options that might deliver the same outcomes for homes, jobs etc. 

Is it worth the risk building this development while compromising the Wicken Fen Vision and the sensitive SSSI Quy Fen?

Anglian Water’s site selection process carefully considered SSSI sites and applied buffers to ensure there are no impacts.  Stow-cum-Quy-Fen SSSI is approximately 1.2km from the boundary of the site area. Anglian Water are working with Natural England in relation to ensuring there are no impacts and are also in dialogue with National Trust to develop opportunities for enhancement within the Wicken Fen Vision area.

How will you ensure that the Strategic environmental assessment is enforced? Green Belt?

Strategic Environmental Assessment is an integral part of the local Plan process. The Process for examining the WtW relocation will also include consideration of the case for development in the green belt. An Environmental Impact Assessment will also form part of the WtW application.

 

Are you guaranteeing the development would be 100% sustainable (this includes zero carbon, water, biodiversity, waste)?

100% sustainability is difficult to define and therefore to guarantee. The draft Area Action Plan for North East Cambridge aims for ambitious carbon reduction, water reduction and biodiversity measures – and when adopted the AAP will become the planning framework of policies against which new developments coming forward will be assessed. 

The City Council/Anglian Water site is only one site within the new city district. At this stage for the Core site it would not be possible to make guarantees, as there are a wide number of factors that go into any development which may impact on sustainability including site constraints, orientation, AAP master-plan and policy requirements, funding etc. However, the Core site landowners have ambitious aspirations for the site in this regard, which will continue to be developed.

Housing

Surely the new homes cannot start being built until the old sewage works is vacated in 2028. How would any new residents get there in 2028?

The Council is confident that homes can be started prior to the WtW relocation. Homes can start to be constructed prior to full vacation of the site, but they may not be able to be occupied prior to the site being vacated. Additionally, as part of the planning process, any proposals for new homes within the AAP area will be considered by the council’s environmental health teams to ensure that existing site constraints, such as odour, noise, and other environmental issues, can be fully mitigated to ensure there is no adverse impact on those living in new homes within North East Cambridge.

How could the North East Cambridge development help communities like ours (co-housing, co-operative, community led housing)? The benefits of a ready-made resilient community, with fewer demands on local services, never seem to be considered when developments are planned. Can North East Cambridge be different?

The councils are considering a wide range of homes, jobs, services and facilities across the North East Cambridge AAP area which will serve both the new and existing communities. As part of the AAP, the councils are also looking to see how development can help existing neighbouring communities in terms of skills, jobs and training [PDF] [PDF]. A number of the developers involved in the AAP area are also experienced in community led housing schemes such as Marmalade Lane in Cambridge.

Where is the evidence of high demand? This area is a cash cow for the government. Is it right that taxpaying communities must take the brunt of this?

We know from the supporting documents for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan that between 2020-2041 we may need to provide between 4,000 and 26,000 additional homes in Greater Cambridge. This considers forecasts of household growth and economic growth in our area. We know that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Greater Cambridge which leads to many people having to live further away from where they work, which increases our carbon emissions from commuting – so building more homes, and more affordable homes, close to where jobs are located is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the area.

If you purchase 500 of the houses for Council Housing what will ensure that they are not sold off?

At the moment, the Right to Buy programme means that we cannot guarantee that Council homes won’t be sold, but we still own over 7,000 homes and are developing more.

You are planning more jobs than there are people who will live at the site. Doesn't that mean this development will need more housing and where will they be?

We heard a lot about the balance of jobs and homes as part of the Area Action Plan consultation. The vision for North East Cambridge is that it should be a mixed community where jobs and homes are located together, to create a vibrant place to live and work, but we are looking at this balance and doing further work in response to comments received.

Planning

How will you ensure the rest of the AAP area achieves the same objectives as the core site when other developers control it and they have 4 years before the plan comes into operation anyway?

We already have existing policies in place and the Planning Service will be working hard to ensure that developments that are proposed before the AAP is adopted do align with the wider vision for the area. However we do not anticipate that a lot of development is going to come forward earlier than the relocation of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

How do developments within the AAP that are already going ahead fit in within the plan? E.g. why have 100s of trees been chopped down already in this area, what can be done on plans for St Johns Innovation Park which fall far short of the high-quality cycling and walking standards proposed elsewhere? How will the GCP’s plans for Milton Road integrate with the project?

Until the adoption of the Area Action Plan, development proposals in this area will be considered against the existing Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plan policies. One of the policy requirements in both plans is to ensure that development that comes forward prior to the adoption of the AAP addresses pedestrian and cycling access and linkages, provides appropriate ecological mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures and ensures that development will not compromise opportunities for the redevelopment of the wider area.

The councils are engaging with the GCP as part of this project and seeking to align planned walking and cycling improvements with the AAP Spatial Framework. This includes not only the Milton Road project but also the Chisholm Trail, Waterbeach Greenway and ongoing work around the Waterbeach to Cambridge Public Transport Corridor.

Where is the money from the sale of the Cowley Road sewage plant site going?

The expectation is that the aspirations for the Core site development will mean that the overarching development costs will utilise a large proportion of land receipts, over and above that retained to meet landowner regulatory requirements. Reasonable landowner development return will be recycled by the Council into its services to residents, and Anglian Water to improvements and investment in assets for its customers. Much of the surplus over this, if there is any, up to the maximum HIF grant level, will be recycled to the Combined Authority for reinvestment in further housing.

When does Housing Infrastructure Funds have to be used by before it must be repaid to the government?

The funds need to be used by the end of March 2028. The proposed relocation will be funded by the Government’s initiative to help deliver housing in areas of high demand - the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).  The Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme of up to £5.5 billion. Nearly £4 billion has been allocated which will help to unlock up to 320,000 new homes.  Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis, providing grant funding for new infrastructure that will unlock new homes in the areas of greatest housing demand.  In March 2019, up to £227 million of funding was allocated to Anglian Water and Cambridge City Council from HIF for the relocation to support sustainable economic and housing growth in Cambridge.

Surely there is enough national and international discussion about the changes in working practises post-Covid, to trigger a rethink of the amount of office space allocated to the NECAAP development. Especially when one considers recent suggestions regarding Cambridge City Centre and change of use for empty office and retail space there.

All development within the AAP area will take new and developing future working practices into account, but it is far too early to tell what the longer-term trends will be post-Covid. As with the Greater Cambridge Local Plan, as evidence and data become available, we will be analysing it fully to understand how our plans may need to adapt as a result. Current evidence shows that, even in lockdown, there is a large proportion of the economy that continues to require employees to travel to work and we need to be careful not to assume a major reduction in employment space requirements, particularly given Greater Cambridge’s strengths in the life sciences and other sectors that cannot work from home.

To what extent will the Science Park make a contribution to community space and community facilities for residents e.g., cafes etc?

The draft Area Action Plan included a proposal for a new ‘local centre’ on the edge of the Science Park which would include local shops and services. There were some comments about the exact location and facilities here which the Planning Service are considering. The Science Park also makes an important contribution of open space and the proposals in the draft AAP will increase public access and use of this, which we feel is very positive.

I am sure it is good to see that Chesterton Fen will provide some ‘lungs’ for this area, but will, at the least ‘passive’ provision for an 'all traffic bridge' over the rail line so as to enable Fen Road level crossing to be closed (foot & cycle traffic to use tow path?

The future of the Fen Road level crossing is a matter for Network Rail and not something that the draft Area Action Plan can define. However, we may be able to look at asking Network Rail to attend a future Forum meeting to discuss this.

How do you decide who has a car and who doesn't?

Planners cannot, of course, dictate who does or does not buy a car, but planning policy can help to shape and nudge people towards more sustainable transport choices. For example, homes can be sold or rented as ‘car free’ which means that the residents know up-front that their home does not come with a parking space and that they would not be entitled to a residents parking permit for any communal parking. For more information, please have a look at the supporting documents for the AAP.

Will you take notice of evidence-based comments from members of the public and include consider them regarding NEECAP and the emerging GC plan?

We note all comments raised but we encourage you to comment at each of the formal consultation stages of both the emerging Plans – this is the most effective way to ensure that your comments are fully considered by the team, and for you to understand how the team have taken comments into account.

Transport

How will the current road infrastructure be improved and added to cope?

In order to create a walkable, cyclable and sustainable neighbourhood which does not increase pressure on the road network around the area, the overall number of vehicle movements in North East Cambridge will have to be carefully managed and significantly reduced from current levels. Highway capacity improvements will be relatively minor; there is little capacity to make improvements at the access to Cambridge Science Park or the junction with King's Hedges Road/Green End Road. More information can be found on this in the AAP supporting documents.

How much out commuting from the County do you expect from the new homes?

Please have a look at the Transport Evidence Base [PDF] [PDF] which gives a detailed assessment of anticipated travel movements.

Greater Cambridge is currently a net importer of labour. There is significant housing demand in Greater Cambridge due to a range of factors including affordability issues, population growth and the area's strong local economy and its sub-regional significance. Whilst NEC will provide housing to help address these issues, it alone will not redress the overall balance between jobs and housing; this will be addressed in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan. 

There are villages that are not connected to the busway and which have a poor bus service at evenings and weekends. How will people in these villages who are unable to cycle access the Cambridge North station?

Mobility options are changing and we do still expect the private car to have an important role to play as the transition takes place.

Government recently (15 March 2021) published a national bus strategy aimed at delivering better bus services for passengers, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered. The Combined Authority, as transport authority, are considering how to reform local services. For people needing to access the station by taxi or car it will remain accessible from Milton Road.

Anglian Water

Can you quantify how much renewable energy Anglian Water are planning to generate?

Anglian Water plans to transform Greater Cambridge’s wastewater into a resource, recycling it through the new facility, harnessing it to create renewable energy, recovering nutrients and returning higher quality cleaned water to the River Cam.  Aligned with our net zero carbon goals, renewable energy will be generated to power the plant.  We will also produce biomethane to inject into and help decarbonise the gas network.  Design proposals, including those relating to renewable energy, will be shared during the next phase of consultation in the summer. 

How much space in the existing Wastewater Plant must be retained if the new plant is moved to Honey Hill as all existing feeds to the site need to be transferred by a new tunnel that needs to be built under the A14?

Minimal space will be retained on the existing site.  We will retain an area needed to intercept the current flows and divert them through a new gravity tunnel to the new facility. None of the current above the ground assets will be retained. There will be a future and limited area needed for access to our below the ground infrastructure assets such as pipes and tunnels.

How do Anglian Water and the Councils propose to meet the massive increase in water requirements that will result from the planned developments? The Cam Valley Forum report ‘Let it Flow’ sets out the range of problems already arising from over-abstraction of water, and states "It is not realistic to expect an already over-abstracted Chalk aquifer to meet future demands for water as a result of growth and climate change.

Anglian Water is the sewerage provider for Cambridge but the statutory water undertaker is Cambridge Water. Anglian Water is however working closely with Cambridge Water in relation to their Water Resources Management Plan and is the founding member of Water Resources East, an independent organisation which looks at water resource management planning. 

 

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