by Barry Platt on 22 July, 2013
The Conservatives at South Cambridgeshire District Council are pressing on with their plans for a new town at Waterbeach. The proposals are for between 8,000 and 9,000 houses, covering an area over four times as large as the current village of Waterbeach. It includes the land from the A10 to the railway, and from Denny End Road up as far as Denny Abbey.
The South Cambridgeshire local plan covers the period up to 2031, and the plan includes the first phase of this proposed development – with 1,400 houses expected to be built between 2026 and 2031. The full development isn’t needed in order to meet the need for new housing during the plan period, yet the Conservatives are threatening us with a massive new town.
You can view the detailed proposals from the developers for the new town here.
Have your Say!
Consultation on South Cambs Local Plan Proposals
County Councillor Maurice Leeke recently met Pippa Corney, South Cambs Cabinet member for planning policy, to explain why Waterbeach objects to the Conservative plans:
“I explained that there is local support for developing the currently built-up part of the barracks site. But it’s no good leaving it for 15 years – by then businesses will have gone and the derelict site will have become an eyesore.
“Let’s just have the houses on the village side of the barrack’s site, where it has already been developed – but let’s also have them before 2026.
“Give us a new primary school for the children who will live there, and a Waterbeach Village College with a swimming pool for the public to use. Improve the A10/A14 junction to cope with the extra traffic. Leave the railway station where it is, and forget all about the new town.”
There are several problems with the plans as they currently stand:
A key requirement for the new town is for the capacity of the A10 to be increased, by upgrading it to dual carriageway status. However the current route of the A10 doesn’t have enough room for this, and there are too many properties which have direct access onto that stretch of the road.
As part of the developer’s plans for the new town, a study has been undertaken of the impact that the necessary A10 upgrade would have. They have identified a corridor of options, and while they don’t yet propose a specific route there is only one route that would avoid knocking down houses. This is as shown by the red line on the map – to move the new road closer to Landbeach, skirting the eastern side of the village and re-joining the current route of the A10 somewhere on the Milton bypass.
Another concern for Landbeach residents is the proposal for a new guided busway from the new town. The plans indicate that the likely route for this is behind the houses on the eastern side of the current A10, presumably between them and the proposed rowing lake. The worry here is that buses will use the new busway route rather than continuing to come through Landbeach, in much the same way that most of the Ely buses bypass the village now.