Update 10th January 2021

Dear all,

Update 10th January, 2020

Cambridge Market Closure

Update on the last newsletter. https://www.fecra.org.uk/update-3rd-january-2021/

Almost 7,000 people have signed the petition for the market to be re-opened for essential foods.


See email below from Cambridge University ventilation expert Dr Shaun Fitzgerald. He sits on the government’s environmental working group for Covid-19 and is cited in this article. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/keep-windows-open-this-winter-to-stop-covid-spread-government-says-kv8lf7pgk

Plans for the market and city centre green spaces -Transport and Planning Scrutiny Committee, Tues 12 Jan, 5.30pm

Lots of residents who are concerned about Cambridge market and the plans for the central conservation area and the city’s green spaces have contacted us to ask why the documents for the Transport and Planning Scrutiny Committee appear to have been removed from the city council’s website. They were there before, see previous newsletter.


previous page



Residents are saying there needs to be clarity on the process that will be used to adopt the document, Making Space for People.


City centre Covid-19 recovery fund


Many residents are asking if the funding for the city centre’s Covid-19 recovery included funding to support the market and enable it to stay open and operate safely? Sustainable food, nature farming, fen orchards, health and wellbeing are key elements of the local plan strategy and cited in Natural Cambridgeshire’s nature recovery plan for ‘doubling nature’, mitigating the OxCamArc strategy for building a million houses by 2050 and an expressway  (the plans for this are paused, but not cancelled). Landscape plans for this nature recovery are funded by Cambridge University Chancellor Lord Sainsbury’s charity, the Gatsby Foundation. They include plans for new river parks. Traders expressing concern about the market closure include farmers whose cows graze on the city’s green spaces and wetland meadows.


Lord Sainsbury’s charity and Arup also fund the think tank Centre for Cities. http://cfc.sbx.so/about/


Arup worked on the Supplementary Planning Document for Waterbeach new town.  Waterbeach developer, Urban and Civic are a board member of Natural Cambridgeshire. Like the Cambridge Conservation Forum, Natural Cambridgeshire is also applying to be a charity with consultee status about green spaces, nature  and the regional water plan and natural capital plans that Water Resources East is working on with the Environment Agency and some ngos.



Proposal to build student housing on St Matthews Piece, 20/04514/FUL

Deadline for responding to the application 13 January

Just a few more days to respond. Friends of St Matthews Piece would welcome your support for their campaign against the new proposal to build student housing – to a height of six storeys – on the northern half of St Matthew’s Piece, Petersfield’s only park. Residents have fought and won against other proposals over the past 23 years. They say the latest proposal from Federated Hermes, will do great harm to the park, on which people depend – now more than ever – during the pandemic.

This direct link takes you directly to the comments page of this specific application https://applications.greatercambridgeplanning.org/…/app…


You can see others’ comments by clicking on the ‘Public comments’ link.

The 2018 Local Plan determines what may be approved so, if you want to express an opinion, you need to cite some of the 2018 Local Plan Policies that would be affected by this proposal:

The Friends of St Matthew have provided a model letter for people to use or adapt. See below.


RAON Support Network – Covid-19

Tony Watt has been sending out informative updates as part of the work of the RAON Support Network. He usually produces two or three newsletter updates a week which are sent to RAON members and residents who want to receive this information. If you would like to receive these updates please contact him and he will add you to the mailing list. Tony.Watts@zen.co.uk


Best wishes,




Cambridge Market closure – email from Dr Shaun Fitzgerald

It is disappointing that all the market stalls have been closed by the Council. I understand the concerns about too many people in close proximity, but if this could be managed then shopping for basic provisions (such as fruit, veg, fish, meat, cheese) is safer in an open air environment than in enclosed shops. I would have expected the city council to just close stalls selling cooked food which is often eaten at tables nearby, and any market stalls selling non-essential retail items.

If closing non-essential retail stalls did not solve the problem of overcrowding in the essential food item stalls, then other measures could be chosen. For example, a queuing system for the market as a whole not dissimilar to those used by supermarkets.

Finally, if this didn’t work then it would seem a last resort of closing the whole market would be needed. However, it is disappointing that this last resort was used before other attempts.

I should add that face coverings should be recommended in the market itself as it might be difficult to guarantee a distance of at least 2m in all instances.


I am happy for my email to be shared. Fundamentally it is about a balance of risks and managing these so that they are minimised if possible.

Closing the market entirely means that there are more people frequenting indoor environments to purchase essential food. It is up to policy makers, but if CCC felt that the takeaway stalls were the source of lingering and overcrowding then it might be worth them considering how to manage that. Closing the whole market is one option, but I don’t understand why that is the only option. Closing just the takeaway stalls is another. And as I said, crowd management with queuing for the market would be another.

I am not a policy maker and I understand that this is difficult. However, from a scientific point of view it does seem disappointing that we are effectively asking people to frequent environments where the ventilation rate will be lower – i.e. indoors rather than outdoors.


From the Friends of St Matthew’s Piece – A model letter to use or adapt


To whom it may concern/Dear Sir/[whichever you prefer],

This dominating proposal (20/04514/FUL) fails to enhance the area’s character, or to fit the scale of our residential context (a max. of 2+1 storeys) – breaching Local Plan Policies 23, 46, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60 & 61. It would cause overshadowing and overlooking, harming the setting, character and appearance of our Conservation Area, Open Space and trees – again, breaching Local Plan Policies 14, 23, 58, 59, 60 & 61. Furthermore, this proposal for Federated Hermes encroaches significantly on our already meagre Open Space, and threatens our precious trees – once again, breaching Local Plan Policies 14, 23, 58, 59, 67 & 71. Finally, I would personally find ……[fill in as appropriate] Yours sincerely, Name (essential) Address (essential) [also essential to mention 20/04514/FUL somewhere, so the Council knows what you are commenting on).

How to comment by 13 Jan, 2020

You can respond to 20/04514/FUL via email to Dean.Scrivener@greatercambridgeplanning.org

Or writing to him at South Cambs Hall,  Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6EA

Or on line



Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA




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