Milton and Beaches Lib Dems

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Waterbeach Barracks Survey: “Don’t overdo barracks redevelopment”

by Barry Platt on 13 January, 2013

Residents of Waterbeach and Landbeach have given a very clear and consistent view in their replies to the survey carried out by the Liberal Democrats.

Local people are not opposed to development at the former barracks, but believe that it should be restricted to the part of the site that is already built-up.  This would provide space for an estimated 930 houses, which is more than had been proposed for any other existing village in the district.

There is considerable opposition to the idea of housing development on the rest of the barracks site – including the runway, golf course and fishing lake, and almost total opposition to extending houses even further onto the land around Denny Abbey and right across to the railway line.

There have been long-standing concerns about the ability of local roads to cope with all the additional traffic that any settlement would create, but the survey also highlighted the concern that most of the land, apart from the currently built-up part of the site, falls below the 5 metre contour.  This means that it is very vulnerable to the risk of flooding, particularly if sea levels rise as they are predicted to do.

“I am delighted with the size of the response to the survey,” said Maurice Leeke, “that so many local people have taken the trouble to reply shows how strongly they feel about this issue. A really important message is that Waterbeach is not taking a blinkered approach – rejecting any development at the barracks – but saying that common sense should prevail.  Any development here must be proportionate and reflect what the infrastructure can bear, and must not store up future problems for the existing or new residents.

“With what we are told about global warming and rises in sea levels, as well as what we can see and have seen for ourselves, it would be totally wrong to build large numbers of houses on low-lying land,” added Maurice Leeke, “it is called Waterbeach for a reason.”

Results of the Survey

There were replies from more than 260 households.

SCDC’s development proposals were basically:

  1. Development of the built-up part of the barracks site (say 900 houses).
  2. Development of the whole of the barracks site (say 7,000 houses)
  3. Development of the whole of the barracks site plus additional land to the north and east (over 12,000 houses).

Of the 246 replies to this question, the first preference responses were as follows:

  • Under 900 houses                               4
  • 900 houses                                         227
  • 900-7,000 houses                                4
  • 7,000 houses                                       10
  • Over 7,000 houses                              1

On the flooding question 254 responses agreed with the statement “I do NOT think that housing development should take place on low-lying land (that is, below the 5 metre contour).

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