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Decision details

Cambridge Northern Fringe Issues and Option 2

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To agree the Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan - Issues & Options 2 consultation document for publication.


Matter for Decision


The report sought approval for the joint Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2 and supporting documents to be published for consultation.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy & Transport


i.  Approved the Cambridge Northern Fringe Issues and Options 2 for Regulation 18 public consultation in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 for a period of six weeks jointly with South Cambridgeshire District Council (Appendix 1 as amended attached to the Officer’s report).

ii.  Approved the Statement of Consultation (Appendix 2 attached to the Officer’s report).

iii.  Noted the findings of the Interim Sustainability Appraisal and Equalities Impact Assessment (Appendices 3 and 4 attached to the Officer’s report).

iv.  Agreed to delegate authority to the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, in consultation with the Chair and Spokes for the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to consider and agree, as is consistent with this Council’s Corporate Objectives, any changes proposed by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

v.  Delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make editorial changes to the Issues and Options Report and supporting documents prior to the commencement of the consultation period (to comprise minor amendments and factual updates and clarifications).


Reason for the Decision


As set out in the officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected


Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations


The Committee received a report from the Director of Planning and Economic Development. The report referred to the Cambridge Northern Fringe East area which had been designated in the new local plans for both Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire as an area for regeneration. The area extent, and the quantum and phasing of development, was proposed to be established through the production of a joint Area Action Plan (AAP).


In response to the Committee’s comments the Director of Planning and Economic Development said the following:

  i.  The use of the term ‘Knowledge District’ was envisaged as a positive signal to show monetary value could be gained through the industry of knowledge rather than other kind of industries such as manufacturing.

  ii.  Important to understand these were statutory documents.

  iii.  Noted the Committee’s comments they were pleased to include the science park as part of the development. This was necessary as there was limited land available in an urban area and there would be a different way of thinking  to show how the park could be used

  iv.  Officers would have to justify with evidence and viability the basis on which the figures for the employment and housing numbers had been referenced in the report.

  v.  The reality of developing creative quarters, such as artist studios instead of tech industries, was that creative quarters were not as viable and would not pass the test of ‘soundness’ in a Local Plan. However creative sectors could be developed in the long term,

  vi.  Noted the Committee’s concern regarding inequality with regard to the lack of affordable business spaces. It was possible with policy framework to secure additional benefits which would not be exclusive to those businesses on the science park as had occurred in the city previously, particularly with the tech industry.

 vii.  Affordable enterprises and business spaces were being considered at how this might be included. It was important to remember that this would have a reflective cost and further work and consultation was needed on how this could be delivered.

viii.  Officers recognised the need to work with Members and residents’ groups whom had the knowledge and experience of the locality to share.

  ix.  Engagement with members of the public through area committee meetings and local residents association on the development had begun. These groups had been asked to identify other resident groups / organisations to further cascade the engagement and consultation process.

  x.  It was important to identify all the wide range of users within the locality of the development, various businesses, employees and operators who used the science park, residents who lived adjacent to the park and those residents who lived on the city edge such as those in Milton. 

  xi.  There was a recommendation in the delegation to make editorial changes to the Issues and Options Report and supporting documents prior to the commencement of the consultation period (to comprise minor amendments and factual updates and clarifications).

 xii.  The EQIA would be updated through each stage of the process.

xiii.  The Housing Infrastructure Team had estimated that the capacity of the development could produce 7600 homes on what was a significant piece of land. The report outlined how:

·   To make more efficient use of brownfield land; looking at the volume of traffic to and from the site.

·  The science park could become a ‘mix used district, (not just housing in one area, employment in the other, joined by a road as would have been done in the past).

xiv.  The highway ‘trip budget’ approach referenced in the report identified the level of vehicular trips that could be made to and from the areas east and west of Milton Road without leading to a severe further impact on the strategic road network. It was therefore based on the number of trips generated and not any particular level of development.

xv.  The policy would challenge the developer to demonstrate how their schemes could compliment the overall number of trips on the road; such as looking at the management of car parking spaces, the promotion of linked trips ensuring there were facilities for both employees and residents to avoid travel out of the area. This could be done by the early development of a school and community facilities to reduce vehicular travel.

xvi.  Car parking spaces on the science park covered more of the land (area) than buildings. This provided an opportunity for development and in turn would incentivise businesses to push innovative travel plans for their employees.

xvii.  Developers / businesses needed to move away from one parking space for one person for a 24 hour period and begin to think about communal parking with different functions at different times.


The Committee:


The Chair proposed the following amendments to Appendix A (Cambridge Northern Fringe Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2) additional text underlined, deleted text struck through:


The Director for Planning and Economic Development reminded the Committee that any changes to Appendix A would also require approval from the Lead Member at South Cambridgeshire District Council; further amendments may also be considered outside of the meeting.






Throughout document


Amend Title to North East Cambridge Area Action  Plan


8 & 42

Para 13

& 4.4

Amend Vision to read:

‘North East Cambridge Northern Fringe – An inclusive, thriving, and low carbon place for innovative living and working; in which economic growth and prosperity are delivered with social justice and equality, inherently walkable where everything is on your doorstep.’


8 & 43

Para 13

& 4.5

Amend objective heading:

‘A high quality, healthy, biodiverse place, which will be a major contributor to achieving zero carbon in Greater Cambridge by 2050’


8 & 43

Para 13

& 4.5

Replace objective heading:

‘An adaptable knowledge district’


‘A City Innovation District which will deliver affordable homes, a diverse range of quality jobs and excellent neighbourhood facilities. ‘




‘This new city district needs activity and vibrancy to support the existing and establishing communities. The leisure and cultural offer to enrich lives is a key component of creating successful places and will be needed for residents, workers and visitors alike. Embedding creativity and culture into the scheme is a vital aspect to the success of the CNF as a new city district with its own identity. A leisure and cultureal strategy along with a public art strategy will be needed early in the process to support the overall masterplanning and decision making for the regeneration of the CNF.’




Cambridge Regional College

As an innovation district, the CNF needs to capitalise on great links to education facilities in the area to improve links to businesses. Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is a major further  and higher education facility with a catchment, which includes Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. The existing CRC site supports 3,000 full-time further and higher education students. Due to its close proximity to the CNF site and the role that the college plays within the immediate and wider area we need to consider how the two can function together and support each other.




A range of community facilities will be required to serve local residents and staff. This will require either new provision on site, or improvements to existing facilities. Where these are off site, we will need to consider how these can be easily accessed. The Councils are in discussion with service providers on what these needs are, and this will continue as the draft AAP is developed





E - Increasing ease of movement across the sites by opening up opportunities to walk and cycle through areas where this is currently difficult, for example Cambridge business park and the Cambridge Science Park, improving access to the Kings Hedges and East Chesterton areas as well as the City beyond.




The Chisholm Trail, creating a mostly off-road and traffic-free route between Cambridge Station, via Abbey,  and the new Cambridge North Station, and beyond to St.Ives and Huntingdon.




Effective ‘last mile’ links from the station and from the busway stops to destinations like the Science Park will be key to the area’s success. This potentially could use innovative solutions like autonomous vehicles, demand responsive transport, or cycle hire schemes.




Question 25: Do you agree that the AAP should be seeking a very low share of journeys to be made by car compared to other more sustainable means like walking, and cycling and public transport  to and from, and within the area?




Employment will form an important part of the mix, bringing together a diverse range of business and employment opportunities  to create a vibrant new district for Cambridge, where there are opportunities for existing and new residents to live and work in the area, and which responds to the transport constraints and opportunities in the area.



Add new para after 7.3

‘As highlighted in chapter 2 of this report, adjoining wards are among the most deprived in Cambridgeshire. North East Cambridge provides an opportunity to deliver new affordable housing, shops services and infrastructure that can offer opportunity and improve amenities in this part of Cambridge. Development could also provide opportunities for specific measures to share the benefits of new development with surrounding communities, such as training and employment opportunities.’





Amend Sentence:


‘Active open space often requires facilities and structures

to support and promote this use, such as toilets, walkways, run routes, interpretation material, seating, tables, children’s playgrounds areas and sports fields.’


This amendment was carried 7 votes to 0.


The Committee resolved 7 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations as amended.


The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport approved the recommendations

Publication date: 05/04/2019

Date of decision: 15/01/2019