10,000 New Homes at North Cambourne ‘identified in emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan’

A bit of a blunder in the east-west rail new consultation regarding the North of Cambourne Station and route option.

We expect that new homes and communities could be built to the north of Cambourne without causing Papworth Everard, Knapwell and Elsworth to join up, and a site in this area is already identified in the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan. There are also fewer heritage assets and areas of woodland and habitat in the area to the north of Cambourne (compared to South of Cambourne)

Trouble is it is only so far one of many call for sites submissions. How often do planners have to explain cal for sites is not a raft plan proposal.

Below is the call for sites submission for 10,000 Homes for the site by Savills

The trouble is we know work is advanced on options for the Greater Cambridge Plan, including options for several corridors not just of East-West Rail but Cambridge Autonomous Metro CAM, which of course is spelt BUS. Of course North of Cambridge is an option in that document.

So this option has slipped out.

There is also the site land to the West of Scotland Road Dry Draydon supported by the Greater Cambridge Mayor for 8,000 homes.

In terms of other options to be considered in the ARC framework the only other one clearly flagged is either Tempsford or South of St Neots depending on which route is chosen. They are not far apart but the Tempsford Route avoids A48 road severance between the station and a Tempsford new Settlement. So where are the other two new communities along the route already flagged up. Winslow appears as a station on the map but is otherwise not mentioned, Calvert is not mentioned though it would be along the extension of the route to Aylesbury. Note however that the leaks referred only to 4 in the central section – MK to Cambridge. So that could include South West of Cambridge.

These hardly add up to a million homes, they hardly add up to 50,000 if that. Of course there are sites that could be served by new CAM routes such as to Haverhill, however we are unlikely to see a bold ambition of new communities of over 50,000, which Homes England said they favoured, served by radical public transport options running every 4 minutes (which the NIC have said privately they favour). The weak ambition and lack of dramatic public transport options paid for by land value uplift mean the emerging arc framework is becomining a damp squib, failing to promote settlements of a scale, form, density and accessibility to meet zero carbon objectives, what we will get is bloated sprawl in car dependent villages, as we have got in the Arc for the last 40 years.

New East-West Rail Route Options Consultation Begins Today


What a north south zigzag around Cambridge

Cambridge Independent

The East West Rail Company has unveiled five potential routes the new line could take into Cambridge – including proposals for a huge flyover in the South Cambridgeshire countryside.

The routes are revealed as the latest phase of public consultation on the £5billion line linking Oxford and Cambridge, via Milton Keynes and Bedford, is launched.

The consultation documents acknowledge an “emerging preference” for the new station at Cambourne to be built to the north of the town, rather than the initial suggestion of placing it in the south, where residents, the town council and the Wildlife Trust feared it would have devastated the Country Park.

But other aspects will raise major questions for communities along the proposed routes.

It remains in favour of a southern approach to Cambridge due to a number of major engineering challenges with a northern approach.

And this means a large flyover is proposed south of Harston to cross the River Cam, the A10 and the existing railway line – as exclusively revealed in this week’s Cambridge Independent.

A deep cutting through a hill south of Haslingfield is also part of the plans.

The East West Rail Company, which hopes to complete the new line by the end of the decade, is seeking feedback on the five proposed route alignments, connecting existing stations in Bedford and Cambridge via new stations in the area around Sandy and St Neots and at Cambourne.

From there, the rail company – which highlights two of the five schemes as its favoured routes – still prefers a route southwards into a stop at Cambridge South station to serve the fast-growing Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

This is the first time the entire route has been drawn together in a single consultation.

The East West Rail company said there were six key areas of focus for the consultation:

  • How Oxford Station and its supporting infrastructure could be improved – including Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village stations
  • Options for avoiding lengthy periods of delay at the London Road level crossing, Bicester
  • How to ensure that communities around Bletchley and the Marston Vale Line would get the most from significant investment in their railway line
  • Options for new stations at Bedford and Bedford St Johns and their supporting infrastructure
  • Five route alignment options for the section of East West Rail between Bedford and Cambridge, including an emerging preference for a station at Cambourne North
  • Plans for improving customer experience through better station design and more timely travel information

The company has also presented developing plans for a new Bedford St Johns Station and a complete redevelopment of Bedford Station. Direct journeys from Bedford to Cambridge will take 35 minutes.

Sue Roberts Fails in Bid to Overturn her Own South Oxfordshire Local Plan – and has to pay costs

Oxford Mail

A GRASSROOTS group, which took a district council in Oxfordshire to court over a hated housing plan, has had its application rejected.

South Oxfordshire District Council confirmed that The Honourable Mr Justice Dove has refused the application by Bioabundance CIC for permission to proceed with an application for judicial review against the council’s decision to adopt the highly-controversial Local Plan 2035, which sets out where 30,000 homes can be built in the area.

Even more, in refusing the application, the judge ordered Bioabundance, founded by South Oxfordshire district councillor Sue Roberts, to pay the council’s costs.

The company now has a week to ask for this decision to be overturned.

A spokesperson for the local authority commented: “We are pleased with this decision and that the court has supported the democratic decision making processes within the council.”

In January, Bioabundance challenged the South Oxfordshire Local Plan after the Government ordered the council to adopt it. The environmental group claimed the Local Plan failed to comply with the Climate Change Act 2008 because of the amount of homes planned for the district, with many set to be built on Green Belt land.