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.