Waterbeach Community Forum

The Waterbeach Community Forum is one of many forums run by us across the major development sites.

It's a good opportunity for the developers and public sector bodies to engage with local residents and community groups over the new town at Waterbeach.

The forum usually starts with an hour-long drop-in session, where the public get to meet representatives from the developers and District Council planners, in order to get a better understanding of not only the current stage of development, but what the new town may look and feel like.

Following this, there's a more formal meeting structured around presentations and questions, where various stakeholders present their plans and vision for the new town. Time is also set aside at the end for any questions that may arise from the presentation.  

Sign up to hear more about Waterbeach

Next meeting: Wednesday 15 March 2023

Time: To be confirmed
Venue: To be confirmed
Agenda: To be confirmed

If you would like to ask a question or would like a specific topic or theme discussed, please email this request to waterbeach.community@scambs.gov.uk.


  • 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 are Waterbeach New Town.
  • 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 Waterbeach 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 be chaired by Cllr Anna Bradnam.
  • 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), Sustainable Communities and Wellbeing

Valuing diversity

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 anyone
  • Act in a fair and responsible way to all

Collective responsibility 

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

Previous meetings 

Q&A and recordings will be uploaded within 2 weeks following each event. Presentations are available on request using the contact email below. 

Local Plan (LP) Update – Caroline Hunt, Strategy and Economy Manager - Greater Cambridge Planning Service

Greater Cambridge Local Plan presentation  [PPTX, 0.3MB]

  • Waterbeach very important part of the plan moving forward
  • Only change is a faster build out -
    • services come quicker
    • more homes per year
    • new strategic and accessible open/green space
  • Next steps -
    • joint LP Advisory Group meetings October 2022 to March 2023
    • formal Committee meetings in January 2023 to consider responses
    • full draft LP to be considered in summer 2023
  • Following steps -
    • consider responses from draft consultation and prepare Proposed Submission (Reg 19) Greater Cambridge Local Plan (GCLP)
    • await outcome of Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant DCO (Development Consent Order)
    • pending outcome of DCO – submission of Proposed Submission GCLP to Secretary of State for independent examination – summer / autumn 2025

Waterbeach Planning Overview - Mike Huntington, Principal Planning Officer - Greater Cambridge Planning Service 

Planning Case Officer - Update  [PPTX, 9.5MB]

  • Mike provided overview of the vision for the new town including indicative locations for local centres, schools (primary and secondary), access, station, community centres, and green space
  • Western half – former barracks and MOD (Ministry of Defence) with Urban&Civic (U&C) as development partner
  • Eastern half – former farmer’s field with RLW Estates as master developer
  • U&C development divided into phases -
    • currently focused near the lake
    • key phase 1 to bring forward primary school, play park, commercial uses and 900 homes
  • Regulatory plan -
    • 10 residential parcels
    • mixed use parcels 
    • connections through to later phases off A10 and north from Waterbeach
    • bridleway to connect to the A10
  • Green infrastructure map -
    • cycle and pedestrian routes all around residential parcels
  • Photos of key phase 1 from 15 months ago 


 Q: Why was there no detail of the RLWE site?

A: This half of the development doesn’t have full consent yet. The outline application was granted permission subject to the signing of a section 106 legal agreement, which is currently being finalised. 

Q: When will RLWE agree a construction transport route to their site?

A: Discussion will happen when legal agreement is in place following full planning permission which will address the linkage and construction traffic. 

Q: The station already has permission, so how will construction traffic reach this site?

A: Framework for bringing station construction traffic requires permission for RLWE before looking at site and transport as a whole. We (RLWE) are looking to avoid a situation where construction traffic goes through the village at all costs. U&C have put in practical elements to pave the way for potential route through their site, but this cannot be determined until full consent is granted for the Eastern Half (RLWE).

Q: Why was the relocation of the station been given permission before consent for the Eastern Half?

A: Essential for station to be in place before any homes are built (which includes a threshold for U&C delivery too). 

Master Developer Update - Rebecca Britton, Bruce Callander and Paul Mumford, Urban&Civic

Urban&Civic presentation  [PDF, 7MB]

  • Paul Mumford – New Project Director -
    • replacing Caroline Foster who will now focus on the new development at Hinxton
    • not completely new to Waterbeach as previously worked for GCSP on the Waterbeach applications
  • Key phase 1 community facilities and highlights
  • Condition 28 & 30 – shuttle bus and cycle route through the village to railway station -
    • resolution to this and everyone signed up (County and SCDC)
    • all other pre-occupation conditions now resolved
  • 1st image – A10 entrance -
    • Cycle and walking routes coming together
  • 2nd image – View of Key Phase 1 -
    • Stonebond and CALA Homes – First housebuilders
    • High sustainable credentials
    • Delivering on promise not to use large/national housebuilders
    • Road infrastructure to include Dutch-style routes with preference for cycling
    • 17k trees planted on site before the end of the year
  • Sustainable travel hub -
    • Work to drive people out of cars
    • Use better modes of transport
    • Using sophisticated software that records how many trips coming out of development (also referred to as 'trip budget')
    • Bus provision fits into the above study and U&C are working with Stagecoach – frequency to increase as homes do
  • Waiting on technical sign-off on Mere Way -
    • Lighting and crossing – safety aspects are met
    • Working with Landbeach and local Councils on this
  • Car Dyke / Denny End Road link -
    • Apologies for more disruption
    • Working with County Council to minimise any disruption this may cause
  • A10 image -
    • U&C very much aware of the challenges of width
    • On a positive note, good to see cyclists and walkers using this
  • Housebuilders -
    • Stonebond – show homes launching January 2023
    • CALA Homes - show homes launching March 2023
  • Primary School -
    • CGI images of various perspectives of the primary school
    • Working with Anglian Learning Trust


Q: When will I be able to cycle through the development from Waterbeach Village to the Research Park?

A: The connecting cycle route through the site is projected to open Spring/Summer 2023.  

Q: When will facilities be available for first residents, for example: cafes, pubs, shops etc.?

A: These will be available within first 200 homes. Working with local partners for early activation and meanwhile uses. There is a temporary building north of the lake which we are looking to use for pop-up cafes and a shop. We are currently looking for local providers.

Master Developer Update - Chris Goldsmith, RLW Estates 

RLW Estates presentation [PPTX, 12.5MB]

  • Summary of application –
    • 600 acres
    • 4500 houses
    • Relocated railway station
    • Primary school
    • Station quarter
    • Community centre

  • New website – waterbeach.co.uk

  • Outline planning permission granted – waiting on section 106 agreement to be finalised with county and South Cambridgeshire District Council, which is expected in the coming months.

  • Next steps – delivery -
    • Design codes
    • Reserved matters apps
    • Pre-commencement conditions including opening of the railway station

  • RLW are currently working with the GCP to open the station who are currently working through the PACE (Project Acceleration in a Controlled Environment) process. This has replaced the GRIP process (Governance for Railway Investment Projects). 


Q: What mitigation measures are being put in place around Bottisham lock?

A: We are currently undertaking intense discussions around footpaths to encourage appropriate walking. Very aware of the sensitivity and trying to balance the approach so as to not disturb the site. 

Q: How likely are you to use Cody Road for construction traffic?

A: It is not likely that Cody Road will be used for construction access. There will be a requirement to submit an Environment and Traffic Management Plan with the railway application. This will decide what is appropriate and how access will be granted. 

Q: The RLWE committee recommendation included permission for 80 homes to be built prior to the opening of the relocation railway station. How will the site be accessed to build these homes?

A: This is incorrect. The condition that was recommended by the planning committee stated that there will be no dwellings occupied until the station has been completed and is open for use. 

Greater Cambridge Partnership - Paul McGuigan, Project Manager 

GCP Station Relocation presentation  [PPTX, 3.5MB]

  • WSP has been retained as design consultant
  • Approaching GRIP Stage 3; Engineering Stage 4 - At the end approval for preliminary design (before detailed design)
  • Engage with Network Rail – Basic Asset Protection agreement
  • Stakeholder planning
  • Project development phases
  • This project will have significant interfaces with other local projects and infrastructure –
    • Green way
    • Busway
    • Anglian Water
    • RLWE development and Station Quarter
  • Summer 2023 for detailed programme and baseline set of requirements -
    • Integrated schedule to be developed
    • Tenders to end of 2023
    • Detailed design 2024
    • Main construction 2025
    • Open in December 2025
  • Once the new station is open, the statutory station closure process can commence -
    • There is a consultation period attached to this
    • Old station won’t close until new station is open and operational


Q: Who will have access to the Cody Road leading into the station?

A: Cody Road and the new access road will provide direct access to the station from the existing village.

A: Is there alternative access to the station, platform and car park?

A: We are in very early stages of the design process. We are taking into account accessibility access. A footbridge is a possibility, but may not be the final solution.

Q: What style of station is proposed?

A: The station is likely to consist of 2 platforms, footbridge with lifts, southern car park, drop off, cycle storage and an access road. 

Q: Who will fund the station building? Who will pay for the decommissioning of the current railway station? Will developer require additional funding to complete the relocation and decommissioning process?

A: It is not proposed to provide a station building. An interchange building will be provided by the adjacent developer in the future. The funding for the building is separate to the £37 million.
A baseline cost plan and cost risk assessment were prepared to arrive at the figure of £37 million. This figure includes all costs associated with designing and building the railway station, decommissioning of exiting station with appropriate level of contingency. The rail industry requires this and is the reason for the substantial figure. 

Q: Who will cover for any excess?

A: RLWE and GCP as funders of the station.

Q: Who will oversee the delivery process?

A: Planning authority can enforce requirements and conditions that relate to planning.

Q: Will the design take into account displaced parking?

A: A 200 space (southern) car park will be provided with a larger (northern) car park provided by the developer in the future.

The June meeting of the Waterbeach Forum took the form of an informal drop-in. 

Time - 6 to 8pm
Attendees - Circa 40 people joined throughout the evening 
Venue - The Waterbeach Baptist Church 

Stall holders and a summary of content displayed/discussed is below: 


  • Mere Way
  • Progress on site
  • Meanwhile uses and currently accessible events/spaces
  • Overview of Key Phase 1 and key dates
  • Apprenticeships/Cambridge Regional College

RLW Estates

  • Overview of eastern half of new town
  • Railway Station info/displays
  • Funding for railway station (if any public info is available)

Waterbeach Parish Council / Neighbourhood Plan Group

  • Being a Parish Councillor
  • General questions on PC or NPG

Greater Cambridge Partnership

  • Waterbeach to Cambridge route options
  • Maps and display boards
  • Important future dates

Cambridge & Peterborough Integrated Care System 

  • Question regarding current & future surgery contract
  • General questions

The Chair of the forum Cllr Anna Bradnam was also in attendance, as well as the following local government officers: 

  • Greater Cambridge Planning Service – Mike Huntington
  • SCDC Communities – Ryan Coetsee and Robyn Kerrigan 
  • County Transport - David Allatt, Jez Tuttle and Tam Parry 

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

Where: Virtual meeting - Zoom

Attendance: Approximately 36

Mike Huntingdon - Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service

Caroline Foster and Rebecca Britton - Urban & Civic Update


David Parke - NHS update

Brian Williams - Waterbeach Neighbourhood Plan


Jane Williams - Waterbeach Parish Council

David Allatt - Transport

General Q&A and close


Unanswered questions: 

National Rail no longer use the GRIP system. When did RLW actually last speak to National Rail?

It is correct that the GRIP system is being replaced by PACE, a new project management system adopted by Network Rail. The relocated Waterbeach railway station has completed GRIP 3 including receiving its engineering ‘Approval in Principle’ and is envisaged will move forward to completion under the new PACE framework.

Anglian Water has now published the Phase 3 consultation which shows the boundary of activity has been extended and there will be impact of construction traffic for the WB to Honey Hill pipeline. Has this been taken into account in traffic management?

Anglian Water can confirm that any impact of construction traffic in relation to the Waterbeach pipeline connection has been taken into account in our Construction Traffic Management Plan

What is the latest on the Bannold Road enforcement when will the issues be resolved?

Currently we have no Enforcement cases open for complaints in Bannold Road, Waterbeach, but if there are issues can the Enforcement team be contacted via email at Enforcement@greatercambridgeplanning.org

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

Where: Virtual meeting - Zoom

Attendance: Approximately 45 people

Additional feedback: Following the Forum on 20 October, 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.

Questions from the meeting follow after the video. If there are any further questions regarding this development, please send these to waterbeach.community@scambs.gov.uk and we will do our best to answer these.

Scroll for more
Presenter Presentation timestamp Questions timestamp
Planning updates: Mike Huntingdon - Principal Planner, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning 00:03:20 00:16:42
Urban & Civic: Caroline Foster - Senior Development Manager / Rebecca Britton - Regional Director, Communications, Communities and Partnerships 00:26:41 00:41:10
RLW Estates update: Chris Goldsmith - Managing Direction, Turnstone Estate / Nick Dines - Managing Director, Concilio Comms 00:55:10 00:56:06
Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Jonathan Dixon - Planning Policy Manager, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning 01:00:40 01:10:00
Better Public Transport: Amy Barnett - Senior Transport Planner, Atkins / Paul Van de Bulk - Project Manager, Greater Cambridge Partnership 01:13:25 01:18:52
Level Crossing Proposals: John Grant - Fen Line Users Association 01:27:50 01:31:12

Unanswered questions

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Could someone clarify what assurances the public has that the proposed haul road from the A10 will indeed be temporary? What legal mechanisms are proposed to ensure that this is the case?

A time limit planning condition would be attached to any permission which would require the haul road to cease within a certain time period, and the land restored to open space.  

Where will the required sewage pumping station for the new Town be sited in Waterbeach parish?

There will be sewage pumping stations within the new town. Two will be located in key phase 1 of the western half of the development. If the question means Wastewater Recycling Centres (WRC), then there will be no new WRCs within the parish.  

Why won't SCDC allow Waterbeach Parish Council to be included in the RLW S106 agreement talks as requested on so many occasions?

SCDC have previously explained to the Parish Council why they will not be involved in the RLW s106 agreement talks. 

Will the development have an impact on the setting of the river?

The impact of the new town on the wider landscape was assessed as part of the planning application process for both sites. 


Urban & Civic

What are the plans to access gas for residents from the new mains gas that is going in across the new town for the cucumber plant?

None. We have already secured a gas connection on site in case it was needed for some buildings, but as part of our commitment to low carbon living and sustainable development, we are looking at no gas supply for homes on site, and house builders are making extensive use of ground and air source heat pumps, alongside site wide renewable energy sources for homes.

Will the lake leisure shared user route include parity of access for equestrians?

While we accept there is a parity aspect to your question, the work to date on how equestrian routes fit in with the wider access strategy has been evolved from our earliest discussions with equestrians at the Vision and key phase stages of the development process to meet their aspirations and needs. That was about ensuring longer loops of riding time, mostly away from more developed areas and with interconnectivity to the wider network of bridleways.

The Lake Loop is more specifically a compact route which includes through woodland and grassland areas, and the busier northern end of the lake, which will have shops and cafés and some sporting activities. This area has not been designed in detail at this stage but may not be as suitable for horses, while the informal path east and west of the lake will not preclude any users. We can perhaps discuss the opportunities and how this can link up to the wider equestrian routes in more detail when we meet on site in the next few weeks.

With so much still water planned for the development what are U&Cs plan to control Mosquitos on the lakes?

it is vitally important we have a robust water management system in place and the approach at Waterbeach draws on the natural and historic local approach of ditches and swales feeding into larger watercourses including the lake.

The areas of existing water on site and across the local area do not create huge problems with mosquitoes so we do not anticipate this being a large issue in the new development.

The water systems are also an important part of a natural ecosystem, and many species such as the many types of bat we are designing habitats and dark zones to support, and many of our priority bird species rely on insects like mosquitoes for food. Our blue and green infrastructure plans create a mosaic of spaces for particular habitats and species, with the water bodies particularly supporting amphibians including great crested newt and other insects/invertebrates such as water beetles, pond snails, dragonflies and a nationally scarce, pond skater. These in turn create a robust ecosystem and a net gain for nature through the course of the development.


RLW Estates

Are you still considering section 106 cycle way on the B1047, including Clayhithe Bridge, south to Horningsea?

We are not aware of any specific proposal for a cycle path along the B1047, rather we have suggested to the County Council that they consider some measures to prevent rat-running, such as traffic lights on the Clayhithe Bridge as part of the wider A10 corridor study response. Provision is proposed through the draft section 106 agreement in this regard, as part of the £487,500 contribution for environmental improvements to the villages of Waterbeach, Fen Ditton, and Horningsea, covering pedestrian, cycle and traffic management schemes.

How much money are the GCP lending RLW? Is it £15m? Is it fair that a very rich college (St Johns) receives resident’s money?

It is not intended that the GCP lend RLW any money. It is proposed that they fund from City Deal monies the baseline relocated railway station subject to RLW providing developer’s match funding by way of provision of land and buildings in respect of enhancements (such as a Park and Ride (P&R) multistorey car park and a station building). That arrangement allows both RLW and U&C to maximise the amount of affordable housing that can be delivered, in the context of the viability assessment work that has been undertaken and independently verified.

How tall are the buildings at the station square?

The Density and Building Heights Parameter Plan forming part of the basis for the resolution to grant outline planning permission for Waterbeach New Town East shows the area around the station square as “approximately 50% of developable area up to 4 storeys (17m) and 50% of developable area up to 6 storeys (24m).”

How will commuters access the new railway station? What will be the car, walking and cycle routes for existing Waterbeach Village residents?

As per the full planning permission for the relocated railway station, this will initially be accessed via Cody Road, and eventually via the New Town site as the scheme progresses and the A10 link is in place. Waterbeach village residents will continue to access the station and new village station car park via Cody Road or Bannold Drove (for pedestrians and cyclists).

Question from Waterbeach and District Bridleways Group - When should we expect contact from you regarding your route plans so that local equestrians are included. We haven’t received any contact.

The outline planning application included consideration of equestrian users, most notably through the inclusion of equestrian routes on the Access and Movement Parameter Plan. Detailed design of routes within the Waterbeach New Town East scheme will commence once the section 106 has been concluded, in the context of the required design codes in the first instance, with contact therefore envisaged in connection with this next stage of work.


Greater Cambridge Local Plan

How are the issues of lack of water, as we are a water stress area, and the threat of flooding being addressed?

We know that water is an absolutely critical issue for the Local Plan. We have commissioned independent experts, Stantec, to produce an Integrated Water Management Study which to inform the development of the Plan. We have now published the outline water cycle study and you can read it in our document library.

We have been very clear in our First Proposals that at present, plans for new sources of water supply, including potential new reservoirs, are being developed but won’t be built quickly enough to supply housing when it is needed. Without speeding up that process and additional interim action, development levels may have to be capped to avoid unacceptable harm to the environment, including the region’s important chalk streams. This may lead to housing in the area becoming even more unaffordable so that those who work in Greater Cambridge may have to commute from further afield, increasing carbon emissions and congestion. We are hoping for quick and decisive action on this from central government and the water industry.

How will you ensure 40% affordable housing when Waterbeach New Town is only 30%. Why not social housing?

Policy proposals in the first Proposals consultation would continue to seek high levels affordable housing as part of new developments. Affordable housing on individual site needs to take account of viability, and the Waterbeach new town application had to consider particular costs related to delivery of the new community and the range of infrastructure it would need. For a development of this scale viability reviews are factored into the development at certain stages, to allow the amount of affordable housing to increase if viability allows.

What does your presentation have to do with Waterbeach New Town and Waterbeach residents?

We want to highlight the opportunities to take part in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals consultation, which will shape development in this area over the next 20 years. We really value input from our communities into this important process.


Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership

Are Cottenham residents being consulted on this?

Cottenham residents are able (and more than welcome) to respond to GCP consultations.

Have GCP agreed to give £20m City Deal to RLW to fund the relocated station?

The GCP are in discussions with the Waterbeach New Town developer regarding the funding and delivery options for relocating the Waterbeach Rail Station, and associated environs including station parking. No agreement has been reached.

How will you ensure that developers contribute towards GCP proposals?

The developers have to fulfil their legal obligations as set out in their S106 agreements.  In addition to this, the GCP will engage with each developer to try to optimise the transport infrastructure that is built within their land.

Will the bus be cheaper than rail?

This is not a question that the GCP can definitively answer.  However, the logical aim would be to reach a position whereby bus fares are competitive compared to rail.


Network Rail/General Questions

Equestrian access on the drove and Bannold Rd rail crossing must be preserved. No one is consulting us on this. Who is responsible for including us? Our safety and access matters.

The current public consultation for the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement (EACE) programme includes proposals and options for the Burgess Road crossing. The consultation is open to everyone to respond to until 28 November to submit comments and responses to Network Rail on the proposals being presented. Feedback can be submitted using the online feedback form. Network Rail has received comments from the Waterbeach and District Bridleway Group and their feedback has been formally accepted as part of the consultation.

How long will each crossing be down for?

We expect the Bottisham Road crossing could be down for between 22 and 25 minutes per hour as a result of the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement (EACE) scheme.

We are finalising a report on the Cambridge re-signalling project, which includes proposals for the Station Road level crossing. The report is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Network Rail will share a copy of this as soon as it’s available.

I was given to understand that Burgess Drove is a CCC emergency access road?

The Ely Area capacity enhancement public consultation on Burgess Drove level crossing includes two options which are presented in the consultation materials. Option 1 retains access for non-motorised users. Option 2 closes the level crossing to all users. We are currently inviting feedback on these proposals from members of the public through the dedicated website.

Cambridgeshire County Council is classed as a ‘statutory consultee’ for this consultation. This means that we have engaged with them throughout the development of the scheme. We would expect the council to voice any concerns directly to us during our discussions with them.

Last time there was a level crossing consultation there was a public exhibition. Will there be one for this?

The consultation materials have been published electronically via the project webpage though hardcopies are available upon request by contacting our national phone line 03457 114 141 or emailing elyareacapacityenhancements@networkrail.co.uk

As part of the consultation process, Network Rail is operating a consultation phone line and webchat at the following dates and times:-

How to chat to us directly:

Available between 18 October and 30 October 2021 on the following days and times:

Live webchat facility:

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm

Wednesday 2pm to 8pm

Speak to one of the team by calling 0800 160 1780

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 2pm to 5pm

Wednesday 5pm to 8pm

Saturday 10am to 1pm

In addition, we have decided to hold local events at the Queen Adelaide Village Hall to provide an opportunity to put questions to Network Rail’s Ely project team. The dates and times of the events are:

Tuesday 2 November 1pm to 7pm

Thursday 4 November 1pm to 7pm

Tuesday 9 November 1pm to 7pm

Thursday 11 November 1pm to 7pm

The venue’s address is Queen Adelaide Village Hall, 25, Ely Road, Queen Adelaide, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4TZ.


Why are local people losing access to a rail crossing for the single benefit of train times/developers? Burgess Drove and crossing should be made safer but remain accessible for ALL users (including horse riders).

We can understand the frustration and potential confusion that arises from proposals for level crossings, especially when they are close together, being considered as part of different projects.

It’s worth noting that the different projects may have different reasons for proposing improvements to the level crossings. The Cambridge re-signalling project is considering how to make the railway more reliable by upgrading the signalling system across the Cambridge area. EACE on the other hand aims to increase capacity through Ely, so is considering which level crossings might need to be upgraded to cope with an increase in the frequency of trains.

This Waterbeach New Town Community Forum meeting took place on the 26 February 2020.


1) Urban and Civic - Update

2) RLW Estates - Update

Urban and Civic update

Caroline Foster and Rebecca Britton from Urban and Civic provided an overview and a brief update as to where they are in their process.

They started by providing a reminder of their application and three-tiered approach to planning consent. Tier 1: Outline planning application, section 106 agreed and phase 1 defined. Tier 2 defines the framework within which each phase is delivered, so currently focusses on the first phase. Tier 3 covers Reserved Matters Applications, for example. for the Primary School or individual Housebuilder parcels. These have to evidence they are in line with and delivering the conditions and guidance set in Tier 1 and 2 planning.

Each phase will be monitored by various progress and delivery groups 2 of which have had their first meeting being (a) education and (b) transport review group. These groups will also help shape the details and timing of future phases.

Urban and Civic continue to have multiple meetings with local groups and stakeholders feeding into design. The condition lists, to be completed before building works start, includes strategies look at drainage, key surface water and sustainability amongst others.

Caroline then went into some detail regarding the first phase and the infrastructure and facilities that will come with it. Phase 1 will include: 1600 homes, transport infrastructure, primary school, health provision, a community facility, open space and sports provision. She confirmed that cycle-and-walk-first principles will be present from the start of phase 1. They are in consultation with the Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan Group regarding fears of “rat-running” from the A10 through the site into Waterbeach and these will be combated by introducing cycle and walkways early and co-designing solutions with residents that reflect this within the village.

Urban and Civic are currently looking at the re-use of the current barrack’s buildings. There are lots of possible sporting opportunities and they would like to open the lake as soon as possible. GB triathlon and other water sports have visited the site along with Living Sport and local groups to explore opportunities. Caroline highlighted the fact that they have existing facilities that are open to the community, and much used, and they are looking to start taking down fencing and opening up the space.

She reiterated that Rebecca and herself have an "open door" policy and if anyone had any concerns, they are more than happy to invite them onto site and talk these through.

Woodland Management

Urban and Civic are working on their woodland management strategy with the Wildlife Trust and Forestry Commission. There are 24 hectares of woodland that will go into a management strategy agreed with the Forestry Commission. This includes trees that are in poor health, including ash dieback, that will be removed and replaced. The management and some thinning out of the trees will also promote biodiversity. Caroline stressed no healthy trees will be removed from site and multiple trees will be planted throughout. Urban and Civic will plant a further 17,000 trees in key phase 1 and this work will be started in the autumn.

Rebecca described the landscape work along the A10 which will create a band going along the Car Dyke corridor in a loop to create a transport route for walking and cycling and will also double-up as an ecological home for wildlife, for example, bats.

Water strategy

Multiple new waterways (SUDS) will be created which will carry up to 68,000m3 of water via a 1km network of ditches. Rebecca explained the intention of planting resilient tree species to cope with storms, disease and warming in the hopes of promoting biodiversity and sustainability throughout the site.


First phase to focus on area highlighted by early investigations and geophysical testing. This work has already begun and in coming months will involve work with community groups and school involvement, and will continue until July. Operation Nightingale is a government initiative that undertakes archaeological fieldwork with military veterans, and Urban and Civic are signed up and using the site to this end.


Rebecca outlined the Community initiatives and projects they have coming up. Work has started on the building intended for the Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup; they are holding a running festival on 16 May which will include a couch-2-5k; a repeat of their outdoor cinema event in May (date is to be decided); there will be a 514 Squadron reunion in June and the Barracks will host the Summer at the Beach Arts events each weekend in July. She appealed to anyone interested to get in touch and be added to the mailing list for more info and if anyone had ideas for more events, they would be more than happy to hold them on site.

Jobs and Skills 

Urban and Civic are engaging with the local Job Centre, Schools and community groups as part of their Jobs and Skills program. A series of sessions have been set up with Waterbeach Action for Youth and they have also met with Cottenham Village College. They are keen to draw in the voice of young people to help design elements of the development and also keen to demonstrate to young people the vast opportunities there are in their development and the route to careers there. They are looking at shared apprenticeships in construction with the CITB and, as part of their careers programme, will look at competitions for construction and design elements that go into new community.

Rebecca requested support for their Big Sleep Out event on 20 March which forms part of their City Homelessness Project. For information on this and all other events, Rebecca urged residents to sign up to their newsletter on their website.

Caroline confirmed that they have secured a loan from Homes England which will enable key construction works in June 2020 by starting the first roads and utilities.

Key dates:

  • Archaeology - now until July 2020
  • Woodland management - now until March 2021 Reserved Matters applications potential timeline:
    • First primary school - Summer 2020 with school likely to open in December 2022
    • First homes - Autumn to Winter 2020 with first occupants expected early 2022  

RLW Estates

Nick Dines and Matt Clark gave an update on the progress of their application and presence on site.

Nick started by explaining that RLW Estates is a consortium of 3 companies: Turnstone Estates, Royal London Asset Management and St John's College.

RLW Estates submitted their planning application back in May 2018. There were 2-3 revisions: March 2019, December 2019 and January 2020. Their development will consist of 4,500 homes and be to the right of Urban and Civic’s.

Nick highlighted 3 main character areas; Fenland Parks to the north, the Fensteads in the middle and the Station Quarter to the south, all linked through the middle by Bannold Drove.

The Fenland Parks will be situated to the north of Bannold Drove and cover an area of 80 hectares. It will have multiple functions, including sports pitches, allotments and orchards, as well as creating a wetland habitat similar to Wicken Fen with 15,000 - 20,000 trees being planted.

The Fensteads will contain the main living area with streets and spaces designed in a more traditional way. Here you will see car free routes with sociable streets and Nick put an emphasis on cars not being "banned", but rather being kept to the edges of the development to allow for greater social and community interaction within. Bannold Drove will run through the heart of these Steads, flanked on either side by 2kms of cycle path and ditches. These will also act as a link to heritage and social functions as well as landscape drainage by discharging into the river Fen.

The Station Quarter makes up the final character area of the site. It will be a mixed use urban quarter and home to the newly relocated train station that will overlook a community square. This quarter will have a range of different uses from leisure, to residential. Nick confirmed that they are working to create access via Bannold Drove and Cody Rd using multiple modes including motor, walking and cycling and they are continuing discussions with our council and Urban and Civic about access across the Barracks land.

Nick and Matt confirmed they are working towards a December 2020 opening date for the new station but are not in a position to comment further on its delivery. They are currently working tirelessly on their outline planning application and hope to have consent very soon. Nick and Matt quoted 2024 for first residential completions.


How can our council contemplate allowing the application in its current form (RLW Estates) since it manifestly does increase flooding risk in some areas and will affect some existing residents?

There was a lengthy discussion regarding developers building on flood plains and an article was quoted by the Head of The Environment Agency, stating that building new homes on flood plains should be resisted if at all possible and where there were no alternative homes, should be made more resilient, for example by using ground floors for garages so people stay safe upstairs. RLW Estates responded by stating their application was supported by a flood risk assessment which takes into account flood risks and the impact of climate change. RLW agreed to bring flood engineers to the next forum in May, in order to explain some of the more technical aspects of the assessment.

South Cambridgeshire District Council Shared Planning was also asked how they can contemplate allowing the application in its current form since it does increase flooding risks in some areas.

Chris Cater, Strategic Sites Manager at South Cambridgeshire District Council, explained that planners will be required to provide a detailed report and will take advice from key stakeholders ie Environment Agency and Drainage Board, before supplying members with a report and making a recommendation.

Question for RLW Estates - Will there be enough footpaths for the disabled?

Matt confirmed that this will form a major part of the development and they absolutely intend to integrate enough accessibility into the site.

How will you (RLW Estates) design out crime considering all the cars will be kept in the same location making them a target for criminals?

Nick and Matt explained that dwellings can be built in such a way that will provide natural surveillance by overlooking parking areas. They will also look at multi-storey car parks as well as CCTV as a deterrent. RLW Estates agreed to take this point away and investigate in more detail.

What is the timeline for the completion of the access road from the A10?

Matt from RLW Estates confirmed that the road was not contingent for permission for the station. Caroline from Urban and Civic confirmed that the call for the haul road is with our council. Once triggered by the District Council, it will take 3 years; 18 months of designing and planning, and 18 months for procurement and build. Residents continued to be concerned given this means the delivery of the road is not in line with the opening of the station and so construction traffic will use Cody road. Jane Williams from the Waterbeach Parish Council confirmed that within the section 106 agreement, the fallback position is to trigger the call for the haul road at the end of phase 1. RLW Estates explained they are coming forward with a Construction Management Plan which will outline exactly where access will be granted for construction traffic.    

Cllr Anna Bradnam called for the Shared Planning team to return to this forum to explain clearly; (a) what the plan is for construction traffic for the new railway station, (b) arrangements for the delivery of the haul road from A10 to RLW land and, (c) why the haul road isn’t being made available in time to build the railway station.

How will the ditches along Bannold Drove be made safe for children, vulnerable adults and the disabled considering what a long stretch of road this is?

RLW Estates confirmed that the safety of residents is one of their key priorities and will endeavour to work with Parish Council on getting this right.

Urban and Civic were asked to comment on the objections raised by the Waterbeach Parish Council on their concerns around the design code. Urban and Civic were disappointed with the parish council's comments as they feel they have given the parish council plenty of opportunity to engage and consult and it was agreed Urban and Civic would go through the comments at a separate meeting with the parish council.

How many housebuilders will there be on the Urban and Civic site and will Urban and Civic be a direct commissioner?

Urban and Civic explained the parcels are smaller than those widely seen on new developments due to the unique landscape found within the site. There will be 8 parcels north of the lake each with between 80-100 homes. Urban and Civic explained that they have started early conversations with some of their preferred suppliers and they will work closely with house builders on the community buildings. House builders will be expected to submit their own reserve matters applications and be granted separate consent before building.

I would love an update on local Health Care and the latest position given the current GP is over capacity?

Lesley McFarlane of South Cambridgeshire District Council confirmed that she has been in contact with the Clinical Commissioning Group who would like to attend the next forum in order to provide an update.


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