Local Plan – surrounding Ninewells with the Campus

A guide to responding to the Local Plan First Proposals, and some personal thoughts on the issues, written by: Sam Davies, City Councillor for Queen Edith’s

The Ninewells housing development was promised as a ‘soft edge’ to the city. The sales material for the 270 homes there showed the photograph above as the view to the south. Now, with the last sales on the estate only recently completed, the next Local Plan proposes taking the field immediately to the south (which is twice the size of Ninewells) out of the Green Belt to allow the Biomedical Campus to expand further – a hard, commercial edge to the city.

Ninewells is shown in red outline. The area in blue is the Biomedical Campus including (surrounded by a blue line) the next area already permitted for an extension. The latest proposed Biomedical Campus extension is shown in green.

This will provide a new entrance from Babraham Road to the Biomedical Campus, and who knows where this will end up?

What do you think?

There are ecological concerns about this proposal, which are covered here. This article aims to look at concerns from a development point of view. You may wish to discuss either or both in your response.

The main document to read is here. This covers the questions below. In each case, click the ‘+’ on the page to reveal the hidden answer.

  • Why is this policy needed?
  • What consultation have we done on this issue?
  • What alternatives did we consider?
  • Supporting evidence studies and topic papers
  • Existing policies in adopted 2018 Local Plans

Now that you’ve read that document, here are some questions you might want to consider, and comment on:

  • Why are we removing further land from the Green Belt (at all, or in this location)?
  • What about the lack of spare capacity in Cambridge’s water supply (read this document)?
  • If the proposed use of this land for employment space, won’t this intensify the imbalance between jobs (too many) and housing (too little)? Rebalancing this is supposed to be one of the big aims of this plan!
  • What about the flood risk (read this)? What are your personal observations of flooding on the field (S/CBC/A) and of flood mitigation problems at Ninewells?
  • What is your opinion of the reference to creating ‘a new soft edge to the city’? Isn’t this the same thing was said about the Ninewells development during its planning process?
  • What do you think of the concept of a trip budget ‘limited to an appropriate level for the surrounding road network’, unless that level is zero, as the road network is already overloaded?
  • Does the proposal allow for better utilisation of the existing Campus?
  • Is this an opportunity for better management of the ‘spillover impacts’ on the wider neighbourhood?

Commenting on the policy

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to the proposal’s web page here (it’s the same one mentioned above).
  • Scroll down the page to near the bottom, until you get to the ‘tell us what you think’ section. Ignore the + button on its right, but click on the blue speech bubble on the left.
  • Log in, or create an account and then log in.
  • Then you can add your comments and/or upload a separately-written document.

When you’re done, the Local Plan’s online questionnaire is also worth a look. It only takes a few minutes, and you can comment on many other general aspects of the proposals.

These guides to commenting on the Local Plan First Proposals are provided by the individual authors. The Queen Edith’s Community Forum does not take any political stance on local issues. We welcome other guides on the same lines, written by local residents. Please contact us at hello@queen-ediths.info if you’d like to write one.