Update 16th June 2020

Update 16th June, 2020



 The County Council Highways and Traffic Committee has just approved a county-wide initiative to introduce a range of traffic schemes, funded by the government. The measures include modal filters and closures on the local road network to limit through vehicle traffic and to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists post Covid-19.     bit.ly/3dYjxLU

The report says the temporary scheme proposals were developed by county council officers with input from district councils, the Greater Cambridge Partnership, county councillors, Cambridge Cycle Campaign, Huntingdonshire Walking and Cycling Group and other residents.

These schemes will have a very significant impact on the way people travel in the city and around Cambridge, and have been approved under Experimental Traffic Regulation orders, which can be imposed for a period of up to 6 months. During that period there is consultation on the experimental schemes, which can then be extended for up to a year. By the end of that period they must then consider the evidence and public input received in order to make a final decision about whether or not the scheme should become permanent.

The initial decision has already been made, and there was no opportunity for consultation in advance.

It is important, though, that you contact your councillors to let them have your views now, and continue to monitor the schemes going forward so that it is clear where things are not working and changes can be made. Councillors are meeting with the Greater Cambridge Partnership tomorrow to discuss details of the schemes.


Cambridge Green Space Evidence Consultation deadline June 17 


Residents’ associations and community groups, some with conservation expertise, were asked to provide information on an interactive map. The system is not at all user-friendly and the map omits much baseline evidence already available, such as designated wildlife sites and open spaces.

Reps have asked the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service and Exec Councillor Katie Thornburrow to consider halting this flawed evidence-gathering exercise, updating the interactive map so that it contains accurate baseline information, improving the technology involved and then re-starting the process, with clearer instructions and wider publicity. The planners say ‘this is the first stage in the consultation strategy and it centres on verifying the data that will underpin the rest of the study’.

’‘The Local Plan green space evidence base study will identify priority projects, and will advise which should be included in the Local Plan, and which should be delivered through land management as opposed to development processes…‘This priority list will in future also inform biodiversity net gain offsetting, and bids for funding from other sources. 

 We will let you know the outcome.




Note ‘Where to build: Densification of existing urban areas was ranked most highly’ in the feedback (note this doesn’t give the breakdown of responses between City residents and South Cambs) see link below


Water Crisis and the River Cam

See Cam Valley Forum’s latest report ‘Let it Flow’.


Many residents are reporting that streams, brooks and trees in the city and surrounding areas are dying. Can we ask you to document this as it is important data for the local plan. Can you also tell us if you know of anyone who has become ill after swimming in the river.

  • 50% of the future national water need is in the South East, the area of the UK targeted by the govt for the highest growth.
  • Cambridge is officially the driest city in the UK
  • The Leader of the City Council Lewis Herbert informed Cambridge Past Present and Future’s planning committee (March 2) that Cambridge is running out of water and has four years left of supply. This information is in Cambridge Water Company’s WaterManagement Plan

FeCRA response on Water Resources East draft business plan see link below.


Growth agenda critiques

There are some interesting conversations taking place which we will be following up.

See two critiques. Stuart Weir is a former editor of the New Statesman

David Plank, Trumpington Residents Association is a former director of Social Services.

See https://www.fecra.org.uk/the-growth-agenda/

Greater Cambridge Partnership letter

This referred to delivering infrastructure as part of existing statutory plans so that developers can have certainty (see link below).


STOP PRESS Cambourne to Cambridge busway has been shelved


The route chosen for the controversial Cambourne to Cambridge busway has just been withdrawn from the agenda for GCP’s Board meeting 25 June. Routed across the most sensitive land on the West Fields, around Bin Brook, to a junction at the narrowest part of Grange Rd, this has been opposed by residents of Newnham and villages including Coton and Hardwick as well as others, including Mayor Palmer. Moreover, the scheme does not address the bigger question of where do all the buses go after Grange Road or the impact on Cambridge’s Central Conservation area including The Backs. It also ignores alternative suggestions put forward such as improving the Girton Interchange.

  • At £200 million the economic case is extremely poor value for money, showing a return of under 50p in social benefit for every £1 invested – less than a quarter of the viable alternative. The business case is even weaker now that the new East/West rail link will go via Cambourne to Cambridge, and the Mayor’s proposed Cam metro will also serve that area.
  • The busway route would cause significant harm to the villages along the route, and would have a devastating impact on the West Fields, a crucial part of the Green Belt around Cambridge. The recent change of access onto Grange Road from Adams Road to the Rifle Range greatly exacerbates the environmental damage, creating a flyover to cross Bin Brook which is over 200m long with high embankments.
  • The communities supposed to benefit from the scheme, including Cambourne, have made it clear that they are desperate for a solution to their transport problems now, but widespread opposition to the plans mean there will inevitably be a Public Inquiry, and possibly Judicial Review – which will add further to the costs, and mean that it cannot possibly be built soon. This may be why the scheme is currently withdrawn.


Cambridge South East Transport busway plans for The Gogs landscape


South East Cambridge communities have similar concerns about the impact of off highway busway plans for the Gogs. There was little support from Shelford, Stapleford, Sawston and Queen Edith’s councillors at the LLF.

  • ‘loss of rolling Cambridge Gogs hills’.
  • ‘No local benefit apart from ‘infill development’ the people you are really planning for in the green belt’.
  • Don’t bother putting in bus stops. Will people who have a train station walk all the way up the hill.’ ‘Shelford and Stapleford  are the sacrificial lamb’.
  • There was widespread consensus about the dearth of information given to South East Cambridge communities.
  • Who were the stakeholders at GCP’s Copley Hill meeting councillors asked. Brian Milnes, Sawston Councillor. ‘We have been given no information about South East Transport plans since a meeting at Homerton College early last year.
  • Councillor Taylor asked why plans for an underpass connecting Wandlebury and the Magog Trust had been cancelled.

The green belt assessment of the impact of the busway scheme on the Gogs landscape as ‘moderate’

  • was done by the landscape architects LDA Design.
  • They recently opened a Cambridge office and were sponsors of last years  OxCam Arc Estates Gazette event with Bidwells.
  • Bidwells are members of the Radical Regeneration Manifesto group of developers that includes Grosvenor, who support development corporations.
  • There has been talk recently about reforming the planning system https://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/housing-secretary-calls-for-first-principles-reform-of-planning-system/5106403.article
  • LDA carried out the 2018 Local Plan green belt review for Cambridge City Council and South Cambs, (now the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service).
  • LDA approved the Local Plan modification for  the BioMedical Campus expansion by Nine Wells Nature Reserve
  • LDA carried out the green belt review for the Cambourne to Cambridge route.

Green belt omission sites submitted in the last Cambridge local plan


Regarding the omission sites submitted previously.See p 78. On the South East Cambridge corridor there is an application from St John’s College on Hinton Way and plans for a much enlarged Worts Causeway development from CEG Estates. There are parallels with developer applications for West Cambridge sites.

There are striking similarities between these two green belt off highway busway transport schemes. Both of them are through Cambridge’s famous landscapes setting – the Gogs Hills and chalk downlands and the Coton Corridor and the West Fields and both enable green belt development.

The GCP Board meets on 25th June


If you have any concerns, about the South East transport plans and the Gogs, please write to the key councillors on the GCP Executive Board and to your local councillors






Please also copy to Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner daniel@danielzeichner.co.uk, South Cambs MP Anthony Browne anthony.browne.mp@parliament.uk and Mayor James Palmer

Cambridge Market

Cambridge Market Traders Association (CMTA) say the report on the Market Square Project Stakeholder Engagement Workshop did not reflect the traders almost unanimous wish to retain the market fixed stalls. CMTA have submitted a petition to retain them. We will be posting this on the FeCRA website.

The Market Square project is funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership as part of the City Centre Access Project. Cambridge City Council and Greater Cambridge Planning Service are the delivery agent for the project.

Combined authority gives green light for £13 million  market town giveway


Might we see a relative revival in small towns if 20-30% of people do not go back to commuting and there are improved transport links.

Best wishes,



Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA




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