Vision for proposed new town north of Waterbeach published

A plan for how a proposed new town north of Waterbeach could be developed has been published today (Monday 6 August).

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Supplementary Planning Document provides the vision for how the whole town will work together to create a thriving new community and sets the benchmark that planning applications will be assessed against.

The document gives details on how developers are expected to ensure the new town reduces energy consumption and looks for opportunities to generate renewable energy as well.

Measures the Council would be looking for in applications would include smart building layout to optimise opportunities for natural light, the use of efficient systems for heating, cooling and where possible, heat recovery, and incorporating renewable energy technologies within the development such as solar panels.

The Council has also said that developers should explore the opportunity to incorporate on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation solutions within the new town which will allow it to provide all its own power rather than drawing from regional stations.

The planning document also sets out that water consumption should be limited at the proposed new town to 110 litres per person per day. This could include using harvesting rainwater to flush toilets and using lower grade greywater for irrigation.

The vision also says that walking and cycling should be prioritised within the new town to reduce the use of private cars and cycle routes to Cambridge and linking to neighbouring communities should be part of plans put forward.

The Council’s document also states that developers must contribute funding to strategic highway improvements that could include on or offline dualling of the A10, and upgrades to the junctions on the route, including Milton Interchange.

The document also sets locations for the five primary schools, two secondary schools, sixth form college, on site Park and Ride and relocated railway station. The town may also include a special education needs school.

The vision also sets a maximum height of six storeys for buildings in the centre of the development, with lower buildings of two storeys near the edge and the neighbouring village of Waterbeach to ensure it is sympathetically designed.

The Council has also said in the document that the development shops, employment, education and transport links must go hand-in-hand with new homes being built so people moving in early have the right facilities as the town grows.

The Supplementary Planning Document supports the Council’s Local Plan, which sets the overall strategy for development in the area. It gives more details and guidance for the development of the new town.

The Supplementary Planning Document will be presented to a Scrutiny meeting on Tuesday 14 August so it can be debated and recommendations made in advance of the Council’s decision making Cabinet considering it in September.

If agreed by Cabinet, a six week public consultation will be carried out.

Deputy Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council with responsibility for strategic planning, Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, said: “Lots of work has been done with the local Parish Council to help prepare this document and the views of the community are really important. We know there are key issues such as transport and the A10 impact to understand, and this document sets out a vision for the range of issues we expect developers to consider when submitted their applications. It is important that the whole proposed new town works collectively, especially as we have more than one developer, and we set a high bar that must be passed so that any new development is respectful of the local area so that the village of Waterbeach retains its identity, and the new community has its own.”

Planning applications already submitted to the Council for a new town north of Waterbeach will only be assessed once the Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire has been adopted and the Supplementary Planning Document agreed.