Government to Consult on OxCam Arc Strategy for Four New Settlements Bedford-Cambridge 24th March – 24th June (heres where they are)

MHCLG Tenders 50k (1 person) only – Some Neighbourhood Plans have bigger budgets

MHCLG is seeking to procure a planning / engagement specialist to support the Government in developing an approach to engaging local audiences (both stakeholder groups and the public) throughout the process of developing up to four new or expanded settlements in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc (OxCam Arc) aligned with new stations along the East West Rail (EWR) Central Section.

The Central Section is Bedford to Cambridge which means they arnt looking at Winslow, Calvert and Marston Vale. How odd.

Where could they be looking at?

Given the current (bad) northern preferred option the locations would be:

  • Tempsford -South East of St Neots
  • Expanded Cambourne
  • Bourne Airfield (already PP applied for)
  • South East of Cambridge

Some of these are far from the best locations in the Arc, are not really new or net additional. However Bucks and Oxon have not been cooperative in recent months.

The only real ‘New’ Settlement here is Tempsford. The problem with the Northern Option is its route has far less capacity outside the Green Bet – it misses Bassingbourne and West of Biggleswade, and implies large Green Belt Loss south of Cambridge – which might be a good idea because of proximity to Attenbrookes. Whatever way you look at it however a less circuitous southern route could probably accommodate twice the amount of development and does not require major Green Belt loss.

All in all a classic screw up in how not to plan alignments and new settlement options together. It doesn’t even follow the recommendations of the Governments own technical study (which I cant reveato bad l as its official sensitive, one step below official secret).

What we have in Cambridgeshire is a conspiracy for bad planning. The County and Greater Cambridge partnership understand that Cambourne and Bourne are hardly zero carbon and so plan an A428 transit corridor, which they planned to be BRT. James Palmer the clown of a CA mayor hates BRT and panders to anti BRT Nimbys, so sees the silly norther route- best served by BRT, as something anything other than BRT.

So the conspiracy bad Cambridgeshire planning convinces the ministry way hay we have support for an Arc plan, lets go with that.

Ive published a far better plan for the Southern route.

Greater Manchester Boroughs (minus Stockport) to create Joint Committee for Joint Plan

If only 5 years ago. Now of course Stockport will have its target massively hiked.

NINE councils in Greater Manchester will have their say on plans to bring forward an ambitious joint development strategy for the city-region: Places for Everyone.

Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan councils will consider a report next Friday (12 February) on whether to form a joint committee to develop a long-term plan for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth across their boroughs.