Update 13th May 2023

Dear all,

Update, 13th May 2023 

Green Councillor Jean Glasberg

Congratulations to FeCRA Secretary Jean Glasberg on her election as Newnham Councillor for the Greens. With so much local knowledge Jean will be a great community rep.

STOP PRESS 23/0446/TTPO Application to fell magnificent, huge copper beech at 246 Hills Rd Cambridge following neighbour’s insurer’s report 

Comment before 18 May.

Hills Road Copper Beech

Comments need to be on the planning portal ASAP before 18th May (the application was posted 4th May). Many residents are expressing concerns about insurers’ reports treating the city’s tree population as financial liabilities rather than as vital habitats and valuable city amenity. They say this poses a huge threat to the city’s wildlife and tree populations, particularly the big trees and will impact bats, songbirds, invertebrates, tree canopy and city amenity.

Residents are worried that if this application is approved it will set a precedent for other applications following insurers’ reports. One outcome might be that applications for felling will be approved by officers without going to the planning committee because they will want to avoid controversy and the risk of the council incurring financial liability if officer recommendations to fell trees on private land following insurers’ reports are rejected. Objections from members of the public are urgently needed.

Tips from the tree campaigners at St Matthews Piece:

  1. Readthis – submitted 22/3/23 & uploaded to portal for 23/0119/TTPO – https://tiny.cc/FoSMP3TsSupp
  2. See this: https://stophomeinsurersfellingtrees.org.uk/
  3. Also read this: https://tiny.cc/FoSMP3TsBriefwhich was written 20/23/23

– which is extracted from this: https://tiny.cc/FoSMP3treesII

  1. The Greater Cambridge Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document (2022), which is cited in  https://tiny.cc/FoSMP3TsSupp

 Residents are saying that there should be a CAVAT report https://www.ltoa.org.uk/resources/cavat assessing city trees as biodiversity and amenity and NOT as financial liabilities. The city council has a policy to increase tree canopy in the city. See:


Jean Glasberg as Environment spokesperson for the Green and Independent Group of the City Council has put in a provisional call in on 23/0446/TTPO such that if this were to be determined by planning officers via delegated decision and they would be minded to recommend approval,that this would instead be called in to planning committee.


STOP PRESS Cambourne to Cambridge Green Corridor Busway Motion to compare bus routes – County Council meeting 16 May, 2023


Campaigners say please can residents write to councillors ASAP to ask them to support the motion on Tuesday to assess and evaluate Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CPPF) alternative on-road proposal against the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) largely segregated proposal,and to submit a full report on both options to be considered by the County Council in October.

Councillors to email: Elisa Meschini elisa.meschini@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

( King’s Hedges, Lab Chair of GCP) ; Lucy Nethsingha lucynethsingha@icloud.com
(Lib Dem Leader of Cambs CC)
Steven Count steve.count @cambridgeshire.gov.uk ( Con) ;
Neil Shailer neil.shailer@gmail.com (Romsey, Lab)
Prof Nick Gay nick.gay@cambridgeshire.gov.uk  (Market,Lab);
Alex Beckett Alex.Beckett@cambridgeshire.gov.uk  (Queen Edith’s, Lib Dem)

Friends of the Cam have emailed councillors to make the following points:

1.The off-road busway is a requirement of the Local Plan – UNTRUE

The Local Plan has a requirement for, “Provision of high-quality bus-priority measures or busway on or parallel to the A1303 between its junction with the A428 and Queens Road, Cambridge”. Residents from Bourn and Cambourne need to have access to Cambridge via good public transport but there is no specification that this must be an off-road busway

  1. The CPPF on-road route has already been considered UNTRUE

Three on-road options have been considered by GCP, but they are very different from the current CPPF alternative, which has never been presented to councillors for comparison. This would include modern ‘smart traffic management’ to regulate flow, avoiding the need for a bus lane passing sensitive parts of the route.

3.The CPPF on-road route would cause harm to Madingley Wood  – UNTRUE

The CPPF route causes no environmental harm whereas the off-road busway cuts through Green Belt land, including the West Fields, involves the loss of hundreds of trees in Coton Orchard and would cause irreversible damage to landscape and habitats.

  1. The CPPF on-road route would impact the American Military Cemetery. UNTRUE

The CPPF proposal is supported by the Superintendent of the Cemetery, Matthew Brown, who said: “GCP’s proposal to build a tarmac bus road across the south side of the hill would irreparably damage this unique and precious landscape.”

  1. The C2C is a cost-effective and sustainable travel option. UNTRUE

The C2C busway would cost at least £160 million and has a very low benefit to cost ratio. This is acknowledged in the Council Agenda papers for the Council meeting on 23rd March Item 7 p26 1.4.2 which makes clear that the main benefit of this route is opening up currently rural land to development. Apart from the large quantity of concrete (a major producer of CO2) required for a new road, the intention is that this would pave the way for more carbon and water intensive speculative building.


For more details see the campaigners’ websites



 Disaster of centuries of over-reliance on chalk streams in Cambridge revealed in stunning trailer for a new film Pure Clean Water 


 The last speaker on the film is Rob Bakewell from the Environment Agency.  FeCRA Treasurer John Latham, chair of Hobson’s Conduit Trust, is quoted in the Cambridge Independent: ‘A-seat-of-the- pants approach to water supply is wholly inexcusable in a city like Cambridge’, links below:



 River campaigners are concerned that Anglian Water and Cambridge Water, both of whom refused the Environment Agency’s plea for a hosepipe ban last summer, may do the same as South West Water who intend to “convert” temporary drought permits into more long-term abstraction licences, with experts warning this would be an “ecological catastrophe” and set a “dangerous precedent” for river health across the country. See


Anglian Water, whose £4.6bn dividend Feargal Sharkey and the press have highlighted is the highest in England, and Cambridge Water (who are owned by South Staffs) are represented on the board of Water Resources East (WRE). WRE, described as “the brainchild” of Anglian Water’s CEO Peter Simpson, was set up to plan for development.

For Gill Plimmer’s excellent analysis of the obscure structures obscuring water company payment and dividends in the Financial Times. See twitter link below


Water and sewage – how might this impact the Local Plan and decisions about land use? 

See strategic land use, link below

 Land ownership within the North East Cambridge Action Plan 

Click on links below for the map from this document https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/sites/gcp/files/2021-11/NECAAPNorthEastCambridgeAreaActionPlanReg192020v22021.pdf 




Landsec, the UK’s biggest property company controls, following its acquisition of U+I (whose developer partner is TOWN) the masterplan for a huge North East Cambs development. Their landowner partners include: Anglian Water, Cambridge City Council, Trinity College and TusPark /Tsingua Univ Holdings ( the Chinese State), St John’s College, Brookgate  and the Crown Estate. But there are also other private landowners.

The directors of U+I who approved Landsec’s acquisition of U+I, include Sadie Morgan National Infrastructure Commissioner, who is the founder director of The Quality of Life Foundation with her husband Matthew Morgan, the CEO of the Quality of Life Foundation. See:



The Quality of Life Foundation partners: https://www.qolf.org/partners/

The masterplan for North East Cambridge development which includes the relocation of Anglian Water’s operational sewage works, takes green belt farm land and impacts the Cam conservation area villages Fen Ditton, Horningsea and Quy. BUT it seems that this masterplan also includes400 acres of greenbelt farmland owned by the Chivers Farms Ltd for the expansion of Trinity College’s Cambridge Science Park, funded by the Chinese state, Tsinghua University Holdings TusPark.


Landsec puts £3-billion Cambridge Life Sciences and residential campus on menu







Anglian Water have resubmitted their DCO application to relocate the Cambridge Sewage works to Greenbelt 


Save Honey Hill campaigners for the Cam Corridor villages write:

“After withdrawing its application in February, Anglian Water has now resubmitted it. The Planning Inspectorate will accept or reject the application by the 26th May, and if accepted, anyone can then register as an Interested Party in order to submit their objections.However, until then Save Honey Hill Campaigners strongly recommend that everybody sign up to receive updates from the Planning Inspectorate.

— Sign up for updates (now).

— Register as an Interested Party (once the application is accepted).

— Send in a Relevant Representation (once you are accepted).

Full and clear instructions are on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

If the application is accepted we will put clear instructions on how to proceed on our website. “

UK Property Conference REIF

Landsec and TusPark are among attendees along with the Investment Minister and City Leaders. See. 


Update on the OxCam Arc tomorrow 15 May Cabinet at South Cambs DC set to confirm membership of the Oxford to Cambridge partnership  





Development of the OxCam Partnership to replace the Arc is being overseen by a Shadow Board.  Members include former Labour City Council Leader Anna Smith and Bridget Smith Leader of South Cambs DC link below



Residents are wondering if the rebranding of the Arc as the Oxford Cambridge Pan Regional Partnership will affect government  plans outlined previously announced for Levelling Up and whether this is no longer a government policy.


‘The Cabinet at South Cambs is also recommended to agree a joint response with Cambridge City Council to Cambridge Water’s water management proposals. ‘Following our publication of updated higher needs figures, the revised needs, and its impact upon water demand needs to be understood urgently’. This refers to the extra 7, 400 homes and South Cambs and Cambridge City Council announcement. The report says the councils are ‘generally supportive’ of Cambridge Water’s proposals, but ‘this is with the proviso that the Councils are not the responsible authorities in water resources planning and would look to the expertise of the Environment Agency.

From information tweeted by BBC Radio Cambs link below.





Pembroke College plans for Panton Street gardens and trees 

https://www.fecra.org.uk/update-18th-april-2023/ generated feedback from you that :

  • Pembroke College also propose to ignore neighbours in plans to turn 26 Barton Rd into a nursery for 45-50 children.
  • this would have a lot of impact with parents dropping off children
  • the application for the nursery was a joint venture with Queens’ College which would facilitate Queens’ Owlstone Croft development impacting Paradise Nature Reserve.
  • Queens already had this arrangement in place with Pembroke College for 26 Barton Rd in before their Owlstone Croft went to the planning committee.
  • They did not mention this to the planning committee.
  • Another resident commenting about Pembroke plans wrote: “My neighbourhood lost to Clare College. They had no concept of giving something back to the community in terms of gardens built into their plans, access etc. We little people were simply in their way’.


Update on BioMedical Campus Expansion plans

See a report from Trumpington Residents Association with an update on greenbelt development on the south side of the city.


Best wishes.


Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA


Interesting Cambridge scenario, see Twitter discussion:
Land ownership within North East Cambridge Action Plan



















Above is from page 19 of this doc https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/sites/gcp/files/2021-11/NECAAPNorthEastCambridgeAreaActionPlanReg192020v22021.pdf





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