Update 30th March 2022

Update 30 March 2022
Cambridge market  



At the Environment and Scrutiny Committee https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=476&MId=3971&Ver=4

John Preston, the former City Council Historic Environment Manager, asked how redevelopment of the Market Square related to last year’s consultation and council assets such as the Guildhall and Corn Exchange and the China Centre plans for Don Pasquale on the market square.

His question is at 2:55.32 https://youtube.com/watch?v=41y9ZGRg_

The approval of proposals for redevelopment of the market square was challenged by local campaigners in the High Court, who alleged the City Council acted unlawfully by failing to consider public responses to last year’s consultation. See link below.


More details on the legal basis of the claim:



Planning application to locate Big Wheel on Parker’s Piece


22/00801/FUL Comment by 22 April to charlotte.spencer@greatercambridgeplanning.org

Jean Glasberg ‘Common land taken over for commercial use’ Cambridge Independent March 30 writes:

  • Whether or not the Big Wheel on Parker’s Piece is an eyesore or not is a matter of opinion, but it is a fact that this is a large area of common land that would be taken over much of the year for commercial use.
  • It is a much loved green space in the heart of Cambridge which is used by schools and sporting groups and enjoyed for recreation by hundreds of Cambridge residents as well as many visitors.
  • The cost of a ride on the Big Wheel puts it out of the question for many local people struggling to make ends meet in this most unequal city.
  • If councillors approve this application they will be putting the commercial interests of the operator ahead of those of their constituents. Who are they representing?


Row over spending up to £150k on gold public art for the river  


Question about the gold art is at 20.43


The Environment and Scrutiny committee voted to approve up to £150k, for an unattributed public artwork. This was on top of the £120k already spent on the project


Volunteers save hundreds of toads from being squashed on Chisholm Trail


The toad mating season runs from February to the end of April. The new cycle route has cut directly across their traditional migration path from the Leper Chapel to Barnwell Lake.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership who are responsible for the construction of the Chisholm Trail say: “All our projects have a full ecological survey before any work is carried out and this was done ahead of construction of the Chisholm Trail. We continuously work with ecologists throughout our work’ .

Early on in the project local experts and FeCRA requested the scheme be informed by professional landscaping design and ecological expertise. The failure to carry out a full ecological and landscape survey meant costs spiralled. Link below.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s local Amphibian and Reptile Group welcome help and support.https://groups.arguk.org/CPARG/


Jesus Green Brook water vole colony threatened by visitor park plans

Planning application 22/00734/FUL Land South East Corner Of Jesus Green Jesus College Jesus improvement project to include bank treatment comprising removal of a section of the bank See


Local experts who monitor Cambridge water vole colonies are concerned that surveys commissioned by the city council have been done too early, before the water voles are active.

Click on tweet below to see voles filmed recently in the bank .


A final decision has not yet been made so it is not too late to comment. 

The planning officer is charlotte.spencer@greatercambridgeplanning.org


Paradise Nature Reserve threat


Friends of Paradise have asked us to update you on Queens’ College proposals to build additional student accommodation, which they say would have a very damaging impact on the Reserve.

New Cambridge Centre for Landscape Regeneration



Partners include:

The Endangered Landscapes Programme funded by Arcadia and the Rausing family, owners of global farm and forestry business, Ingleby Farms. They also fund Flora and Fauna and the Lund Trust. https://dir.md/wiki/Lisbet_Rausing?host=en.wikipedia.org

Anglian Water, RSPB and NFU ( board members of Water Resources East, set up by Anglian Water)

Natural Cambridgeshire RE Leaders Group see https://www.fecra.org.uk/update-7th-jan-2020/

McKinsey consultancy Vivid Economics clients include UK PowerNetworks, Anglian Water and the National Trust ( members of Anglian Water’s Natural Capital East) and Tsinghua University, joint partner with Trinity College on the Cambridge Science Park.

The Food Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC) is working with Cambs leaders on a pilot project for a land use framework for the Cam catchment. The project for the House of Lords Land Use inquiry is co chaired by Dame Fiona Reynolds with CambridgeCofarm/CofarmEstates/Camb Sustainable Food.



FFCC Submission to the House of Lords Inquiry on Land Use. Link below



The FFCC is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and is a partner of the Prince of Wales’s  Countryside Fund. https://www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/about-us/our-people/our-trustees Attendees at the two leadership meetings organised and hosted by Dame Fiona included councillors, Natural Cambs, Anglian Water, Camb Ahead, Camb Univ and developers and landowners. They discussed: OxCam Arc spatial strategy, East West Rail, reservoirs; collaboration between Anglian Water and Nestle; Cambridge Sustainable Food/Cofarm “going for gold”. Cofarms and country parks feature in Greater Cambridge’s Local Plan mapping of green site ‘opportunities.’

Land Use Forum (LUF) meeting Nov 2021 (Tweet)
Post-It Notes (closeup)
List of Organisations Interested in LUF
Cambs and Peterborough LUF Next Steps


FFCC Submission to the House of Lords Inquiry on Land Use link below





As some of you have pointed out: ‘We have to be very careful of what we wish for when deciding who should be given powers in relation to planning matters and land use etc.’


Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply Report – just published



OxCam Arc Update on recent developments free online webinar 21 April 


Stop the Arc say ‘you have probably heard that Michael Gove, the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has reportedly ‘shelved’ the Ox-Cam Arc.  This has still not been made official, leaving all Local Authorities and the 3.7 million people who live in the five Arc counties at present in a state of limbo.’ They ask: Will we get an Arc by other means? 


Happy Easter everyone!


Best wishes,










Wendy Blythe

Chair, FeCRA




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