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Agenda item

Cambridge Northern Fringe East Area Action Plan - Issues and Options Report

Attached separately.  


The Committee received a report from the Head of Planning and the Urban Extensions Project Manager regarding the Cambridge Northern Fringe East Area Action Plan.


The report outlined four options for development in the area. The document is currently in draft form and will be going forward for scrutiny and public consultation in the spring. Initial meeting with landowners and utilities companies had taken place.


Councillor Kindersley suggested that if expansion of the area under consideration, why not expand it further and include all the land to the river. This would allow additional transport links to be developed. Flood issues and sensitive handling of the traveller community would be required. Failure to include this land, at an early stage of the consultation process, would result in it being land locked forever.  Councillor Hipkin suggested that a question reflecting this suggestion should be added to Section 4 of the draft report.


The Director of Planning and New Communities advised that increasing the area of the Northern Fringe East Policy areato either the North or the East was not consistent with the Local plan and would involve including designated green belt land. Consideration would also be needed existing policies regarding flooding and traveller sites.


The Head of Planning reminded members that documents such as an Area Action Plan would always be subservient to the Local Plan.


Members argued that there was a need to show vision and that land stretching towards the river would be ideal for a Country Park. In addition, the granting of permission for a new railway station had impacted on the value of land in the area.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  The options document is lacking detailed references to existing communities in the Chesterton area. More details were needed regarding integration.

  ii.  Concerns were raised about the impact of additional traffic on Milton Road.

  iii.  Local housing does not connect well with business developments sites; could additional housing be added to the mix?

  iv.  Local residential streets would be filled with commuter cars.

  v.  Clustering of employment opportunities away from the centre of Cambridge and into local ‘hubs’ was welcomed.


In response to Members’ questions the Urban Extensions Project Manager, the Head of Planning and Director of Planning and New Communities stated the following:


  vi.  Option four would be the most challenging and would involve relocating the water treatment plant.

 vii.  Finding a suitable site to relocate the water treatment works would not be easy. Sites in South Cambridgeshire had been discussed.

viii.  Cross authority support for the proposals would be required and further meetinsg to discuss both planning and non-planning issues were needed.

  ix.  The consultation process includes an open question regarding boundary issues.

  x.  The Local Plan has a long timeframe for delivery. Some early scheme would need to be delivered to encourage future growth.

  xi.  The function of the railhead for industrial use would remain part of the plan.

 xii.  The Local Plan highlights the area as an employment site. However, additional housing could be explored.


The Chair brought the debate to a close and stated that relocating the water treatment plant had been discussed for many years. However, relocating would be prohibitively expensive and finding a suitable site would be difficult. The new station was a catalyst to examine the area again. Realistically, it appeared that only options one and two might be viable.


Resolved: The Joint Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group recommends that the councils agree the draft Issues & Options Report for consultation as set out in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

Supporting documents: