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S/1231/18/COND9 and 18/0481/COND9 - Land North of Cherry Hinton (LNCH), Coldhams Lane, Cambridge - Design Code


The Committee received a report referring to the applications which sought discharge of condition 9 for the site wide design code of outline planning permission 18/0481/OUT and S/1231/18/OL for up to 1200 residential dwellings (including retirement living facility), a local centre, primary and secondary schools, community facilities, open spaces, allotments, landscape and associated infrastructure.


Mr David Fletcher (Agent) addressed the Committee in support of the application.


The Committee raised the following comments in response to the Officer’s presentation and report:


  i.  Asked if Officers could be more detailed in how the residential units would be numbered; way finding could be added.

  ii.  Requested that an electricity supply be installed to the open square, so power could be offered to community events / markets being run from this space; also access to water supply would be beneficial. 

  iii.  Would like to have car club referenced in the design code

  iv.  Queried whether the 800 houses which would trigger the building of a recycling point was for units built or units sold / occupied.

  v.  Enquired why all the site roads/footpaths were not being adopted; this could lead to the freeholder charging leaseholders for the resulting estate management costs over which the leaseholders would little oversight or control.

  vi.  Concerned about the long-term management / maintenance of the site

 vii.  Requested further detail on the management company and how this would operate; the impact this could have on the site over the long term needed to be seriously considered.

viii.  Questioned if Cambridge City Council would be responsible for all the green areas on site, even those within the boundary of South Cambridgeshire District Council.

  ix.  Highlighted the importance of being aware of local government boundaries when working on the detailed design; this would affect residents’ council tax according to which local authority administrative boundary there were in.

  x.  There should be some indication to potential buyers which local authority would be responsible for the area in which they lived in.

  xi.  Thanked the Officers, Designers and Developers for their collaboration in working to improve the quality of application.

 xii.  Questioned if additional access points were required due to the quantity of roads leading to the primary street as all traffic would currently leave at the eastern and western ends.

xiii.  Asked for further information on movement and access of the site concerning vehicles and cyclists.

xiv.   Welcomed the permeability to Cherry Hinton village.

xv.  Requested further information on the location of the post boxes on site.

xvi.  Asked for clear definition on the use of the terms ‘must’ and ‘should’ throughout the document.

xvii.  Enquired who owned the copyright of the design code document.

xviii.  Suggested a clear definition of term ‘fabric first’ was required and asked how this would be tested during the design process.

xix.  Recommended that the separation for movement and access for cycling and pedestrian should be made clearer.

xx.  Requested further information on the management of cycle and pathways throughout the build-out process and how they would be kept clear of vehicle parking.

xxi.  Highlighted the importance of the reference to air source heat pumps and to the cooling of the buildings, particularly those units of dual aspect; these should be installed from the start of the build.

xxii.  Consideration should be given to ground source heat sources at the early design stage.

xxiii.  Important to install highest possible level of solar electricity generation capacity and notes that some photovoltaic panels do not reflect sunlight and maybe safe to install in close proximity to the airport.

xxiv.  Asked if there would be a permanent on-site warden provision who would liaise with tenants.

xxv.  Requested further clarification on the mechanical ventilation for the residential units.

xxvi.  Enquired if there could be outdoor gym equipment installed on site to help promote the active lifestyle referenced.

xxvii.  Noted the highway authority did not allow underground communal bin storage on adopted roads which would prevent innovative waste solutions being found. 

xxviii.  Queried where the bus stops would be installed.

xxix.  Expressed concern at the impact of the additional vehicle and cycle movement under the railway bridge (top end of Coldham Lane) from the site which was already a pinch point. 

xxx.  No provision had been made for cyclists to leave the site and bike into Cambridge.

xxxi.  Stated it was important to have a phasing plan for the facilities referenced on site such as the health centre, community centre, schools, and retail.


The Principal Planner, the Delivery Manager, Strategic Sites, the Sustainability Officer and Chair responded to the Committee’s comments with the following:

  i.  A large amount of time had been spent with the Officers from the local  Highway Authority and the City Council’s streets and open spaces team to reduce the amount of land which would fall under a management company for maintenance purposes. This was an exemplar design code proposal compared to the design codes in place for other fringe site developments. 

  ii.  Adoption was the first consideration. Over the last decade the parameters had changed as to what would be adopted in terms of key street elements.

  iii.  Acknowledged that the costs for a management company needed to be kept low.

  iv.  Officers had ensured the installation of drainage swales on the primary streets met the wider function required by streets and open spaces team to be adopted. Such requirements were width, biodiversity, urban greening, and social ability to ensure adoption. 

  v.  Cambridge City Council would undertake the management of all green open spaces including those in the South Cambridgeshire District Council’s boundary. The developer would pay a sum of money, known as a commuted sum (yet be agreed) towards post adoption work.

  vi.  All letter boxes would meet the accessibility requirements and be installed in a secure location. Letter box heights would be no less than 0.7m in height which could be secured by reserved matters applications. 

 vii.  Street names and numbering were not usually discussed at this stage but way finding could be designed in.

viii.  A signage strategy would be discussed at the pre-application (of reserved matters) stage and acknowledged the request for consultation with local councillors.

  ix.  A s106 Agreement planning obligation has been secured to enhance the movement and travel arrangements in and around the site which included:

·  a new shared cycle way along Coldham Lane that linked the north-western tip of the site;

·  an upgrade to the Barnwell Road pedestrian and cycle crossing;

·  delivery of small-scale walking and cycling measures;

·  access improvements at various junctions around Coldham Lane.

·   widening of cycle paths around the area. 

  x.  The impact of the wider transport assessment had included the top of Coldham Lane under the railway bridge. This would have been considered when measuring the trip generation and discussed as part of the determination of the outline planning application. 

  xi.  The County Council’s transport assessment team had previously confirmed that the transport mitigation package put forward as part of the outline planning application for this site was acceptable; wider/strategic discussions on transport in the area were ongoing. 

 xii.  The County Council’s transport assessment team had concluded there were appropriate off-road routes into the City including the Tinns cycleway.

xiii.  Confirmed the primary street had a segregated cycle and pedestrian route (p44 of the Design Code).

xiv.  The location of the modal filters were indicative at this stage of the Design Code; the exact location of these filters would be determined through the master planning at the reserved matters application stage. 

xv.  Referred to the construction phasing plan subject to a planning condition under the outline approval.

xvi.  There would be short temporary diversions in place along the public right of way through the centre of the site at points of construction. 

xvii.  The recycling centre was required to be delivered at occupation of the 800th dwelling but there could be potential for earlier provision.

xviii.  The s38 Agreement process concerning the adoption of highways would start when the reserved matters applications had been approved.

xix.  The Highway Authority would seek to adopt highways serving five properties or more; some tertiary roads on site only had two dwellings and thus not eligible for adoption.

xx.  Discussion would be held with the developer concerning enforcement and how to keep the cycle ways clear of vehicular parking until adoption. This would be discussed at the reserved matters applications.

xxi.  As part of the detail of the reserved matters applications discussion would include the following:

·  Car club parking for all flats and apartments;

·  house numbering on site;

·  permanent on-site warden for the social housing.

xxii.  Utilities on the open square had been envisaged and would be added to the Design Code for this to be clearer.

xxiii.  Subject to discussions with the developer car club spaces had been secured on site.

xxiv.  Noted the request to have cycleways remain open during build-out

xxv.  The Design Code document was owned jointly by all parties involved.

xxvi.  Local Government administrative  boundary issues were not a matter for the Design Code.

xxvii.  Fabric first meant carefully considering the design and construction of buildings early in the design stages. This was to ensure minimising energy demand and consumption through a range of different methods. 

xxviii.  The energy strategy would provide more detail on how the fabric first principles could and would be met. 

xxix.  A trim trail would run along the outside of the site, the play strategy consideration would be given to installation of equipment. 

xxx.  Acknowledged the comment that the design was boring but noted that design was subjective and influenced by personal taste or opinion. The Design Code was intended to set a precedent for what was trying to be achieved throughout the site and to create a vision for its delivery.

xxxi.  The reference to mechanical ventilation would be discussed with consultants to ensure that the information was clear and concise and could be understood.


The Legal Advisor stated that changing boundaries would be a very lengthy process to complete with various consultations undertaken and should not constrain the development of the site. Furthermore, the Legal Advisor advised that ‘must’ creates a mandatory requirement whilst the use of ‘should’ provides an element of flexibility.


The Strategic Sites Delivery Manager, summarised the following additional amendments to the Design Code document will include: 


  i.  specific reference to letter box heights being no less than 0.7m above dwelling floor level;

  ii.  a review of the trigger point for delivering the community recycling point;

  iii.  reference to ensuring provision is made for electricity and water supply infrastructure in/to the central community areas; and

  iv.  review and update to the paragraph on page 63 of the Code regarding mechanical ventilation.


These amendments were carried unanimously.


The Committee:


The Committee unanimously resolved to (additional text underlined):


  i.  Approve the discharge of condition application reference 18/0481/COND9 subject to:

1.  amendment of the description of the proposal as follows: ‘Submission of details required by condition 9 (Site Wide Design Code) of outline permission 18/0481/OUT as varied by planning permission 22/1967/S73’ and Design Code document update to include:

·  specific reference to letter box heights being no less than 0.7m in height;

·  a review of the trigger point for delivering the community recycling facility;

·  reference to ensuring provision is made for electricity and water in the central community areas; and

·  review and update to the paragraph of the Code on page 63 regarding mechanical ventilation.




The Committee unanimously resolved to (additional text underlined):


  ii.  Approve the discharge of condition application reference S/1231/18/COND9 subject to:

1.  amendment of the description of the proposal as follows: ‘Submission of details required by condition 9 (Site Wide Design Code) of outline permission S/1231/18/OL as varied by planning permission 22/01966/S73’ and Design Code document update to include

2.  Specific reference to letter box heights being no less than 0.7m in height.

3.  A review of the trigger point for delivering the community recycling point.

4.  Reference to ensuring provision is made for electricity and water in the central community areas.

5.  Review and update to the paragraph of the Code on page 63 regarding mechanical ventilation

Supporting documents: