Developer proposes Plan for South West Cambridgeshire New Town

Cambridge Independent

A property developer has announced its vision to build an enormous 25,000-home community in South West Cambridgeshire.

Thakeham says it hopes to create the UK’s first zero-carbon development by creating a new town and a series of connecting villages.

Campaigners alarmed by the enormous scale of the proposals – which would dramatically change the South Cambridgeshire landscape – have already mobilised in opposition to the shock announcement, warning it would completely swamp the area and destroy village life.

Thakeham wants to build around Barrington, Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth, Foxton, Meldreth, Orwell, Shepreth, Whaddon and Wimpole.

It says it would deliver up to 10,000 affordable homes, ensure a biodiversity net gain of at least 20 per cent and deliver new sporting, healthcare, schools and education facilities.

Rob Boughton, Thakeham CEO, said: “We’re delighted to reveal our vision to create the UK’s first truly sustainable new community. A zero-carbon place with green transport links, where school and work are readily accessible and community facilities are owned by the local residents.

“As the UK’s contribution to this week’s UN Climate Ambition Summit will show, addressing the climate emergency and protecting our environment is fast becoming the number one national priority, along with ensuring that we continue to build the homes and infrastructure which are so desperately needed. Our proposals aim to provide a global blueprint for zero-carbon sustainable placemaking.

The local mp has condemned it before even seeing it. A local campaign group has been formed even before the plans have been published.

I am extremely concerned about the impact of yet another enormous development on the character of South Cambridgeshire.  Whatever the context, a new town is both unwanted and unsustainable.

I have said many times that South Cambridgeshire welcomes sustainable development – but this is not it. Not only would this be incredibly destructive to some of the most beautiful villages in South Cambridgeshire, destroying their way of life, but it would cause monumental and lasting damage to local ecosystems.

South Cambridgeshire has already had two new towns in the last two decades, including the largest new town to be built in Britain in the last fifty years, and it still has some of the highest housebuilding rates in the country. It is leading to increasing urbanisation, more pressure on local services, increases congestion and water shortages.  

I will continue to campaign for the South Cambridgeshire District Council not to approve building any more houses than required by national government targets and for residents to be openly consulted before even considering such radical proposals.

Try doing a new local plan in line with national targets without another planned settlement. The question sir is where it should go. If you have no positive suggestion you have nothing but hot farts to add to add a serious conversation.

Of course this area is one of four which the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan would be looking at for new Community scale development.

In the past AECOM, David Lock and myself have published detailed proposals for this area (more to the West all avoiding the Green Belt). This is no coincidence. With mass transit it would be an excellent place for a large Garden Community.

My Own Zero Carbon Plan for this Area – 150,000 houses – the same as Cambridge

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