Draft Caldecote Village Design Guide SPD

Representation ID: 167767

Received: 30/05/2019

Respondent: Countryside Properties

Agent: Andrew Martin Associates

Representation Summary:

The plan on page 11 shows the Local Plan notation shown on the respective Policies Maps for both Bourn Airfield and Caldecote, but it should have a key for clarity

Full text:

This consultation response has been prepared by Andrew Martin - Planning on behalf of Countryside Properties (UK) Limited, in response to the Caldecote Village Design Guide Consultation Draft, April 2019.

2. South Cambs District Council (SCDC) define a Village Design Guide, on their website, as a document that describes the distinctive character of the village and sets out guidelines for how this should be enhanced by new developments. As stated "it helps communities and planners shape the character of new development in your area, in response to community priorities. It is a way to provide more locally specific detail, which augments and amplifies the Local Plan policies". The Adopted Local Plan refers to Village Design Guides at paragraph 5.9 as a method of providing additional guidance to support Policy HQ/1 - Design Principles.

3. Bourn Airfield is situated to the west of Highfields Caldecote and is designated in the adopted South Cambridgeshire Local Plan for development as a new village (Policy SS/7). It is proposed to deliver approximately 3,500 dwellings and supporting infrastructure. The adopted Policies Map Inset I - Bourn Airfield New Village, identifies the overall new village development area including the defined Strategic Site Boundary and the Major Development Site boundary. The policy requires that the design of the edges of the new village should have particular regard to ensuring an appropriate relationship with Cambourne and Highfields Caldecote, as well as setting out requirements for cycle/pedestrian/bus links to Highfield Caldecote. Furthermore, the policy requires a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to be prepared for the development. In accordance with this Local Plan policy the SPD is currently being prepared and SCDC anticipate public consultation on the draft SPD commencing in mid June and closing by the end of July. Adoption is anticipated in the Autumn.

4. The eastern boundary of Bourn Airfield Strategic Site Boundary overlaps with Caldecote Parish boundary. The Caldecote Parish boundary is shown highlighted on an aerial photograph of Caldecote on page 2 of the consultation draft Village Design Guide. The drawing attached to these representations shows the overlap between the Parish boundary and the Bourn Airfield New Village Strategic Site Boundary and Major Development Area (AM-P drawing no 12015_06). Paragraph 9.3 of the Caldecote Village Design Guide states:
"The overlap between Caldecote parish and the Bourn Airfield masterplan at the A428 roundabout should be treated as a chance to create a green amenity area and buffer between the settlements"

5. Therefore, it is considered that the Village Design Guide should make it clear both at the beginning of the document under the heading on page 3, under the heading 'Note to reader,' and in the Introduction on page 5, that the Parish boundary does overlap with the allocated Bourn Airfield New Village and that the Design Guide relates specifically to the remainder of the parish and not to Bourn Airfield Strategic Site. The words in bold should therefore be included on pages 3 and 5.

Additionally, in the Introduction a sentence should be added as follows:-

The Design Guide does however seek to ensure that the relationship with the Bourn
Airfield new village is positive, aiming to make the new development the best quality it can be with creative design approaches and allows for good off-road connections whilst maintaining their distinct identities. (as referred to in the last bullet on page 8).

7. The plan on page 11 shows the Local Plan notation shown on the respective Policies Maps for both Bourn Airfield and Caldecote, but it should have a key for clarity.

8. The plan on page 13, Fig 7 - Character areas also requires a key and is misleading in relation to the note in the bottom right hand corner. The Local Plan Policies Map Inset No.13 does not identify character areas and the note should be removed. The defined character areas are however relevant to the Design Guide.

9. Fig 11 on page 15 is supported and the pedestrian/cycle connections between Caldecote and the Bourn Airfield proposals are consistent with the Bourn Airfield masterplan and Access and Movement Parameter Plan - (Drawing no. RG-M-55E), with one exception, ie. the link to the north of the protected local green space via Grafton Drive, which could be accommodated within the Bourn Airfield part of the site.

10. Section 8 of the Design Guide deals with drainage and ditches. It is noted that flooding is a key issue in Caldecote, particularly at Highfields where the land surrounding the village is clay and slopes towards the village. Countryside Properties are aware of these flooding issues and potential risks and these are referred to in the Environmental Statement that accompanies the Bourn Airfield planning application. The overall flooding and drainage strategy in the application highlights that once the scheme has been constructed, there will be a change to the way the catchment within the site responds to rainfall. There will be an increase in impermeable surfacing but there will be a quicker response to rainfall and the potential to affect flows into the Bourn Brook. The scheme will also include various Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDs) measures, such as wetlands, basins and
swales, which will intercept and attenuate the runoff to agreed maximum allowable runoff rates of 3.5 l/s/ha whilst enhancing the water quality and providing habitat or amenity opportunities as well. These measures will also take into account the existing flooding and drainage situation in Caldecote wherever possible and necessary to ensure that the new development does not adversely affect Caldecote.

11. Paragraph 9.3 of the Design Guide states:
"the overlap between Caldecote parish and the Bourn Airfield masterplan at the A428 roundabout should be treated as a chance to create a green amenity area and buffer between the settlements".
Countryside Properties considers that the Illustrative Masterplan does just that. The proposed open area of Gateway Park that provides public space and wetlands will create a substantial buffer separating the new village from Highfields. However, it is inevitable that the Caldecote community will want to enjoy safe and convenient connectivity to the wide range of new facilities to be provided in Bourn Airfield, including access to the secondary and primary schools, retail,
employment, recreation, sports and community uses. In particular the proposed new cycleways and pedestrian links to the rapid transit route, providing fast public transport connections to Cambridge and Cambourne will inevitably be especially attractive to Caldecote residents. Every opportunity should be taken through appropriate placemaking, design and new footpath and cycleway links to foster community integration between the existing Caldecote residents and new
community. If the open gap is over-generous it will create too much of a sense of isolation and separation and therefore a balance needs to be struck between the proximity of the new village gateway and the existing Caldecote Highfields village. This is one of the reasons why Countryside Properties propose an area of development that goes beyond the current defined Major Development Site boundaries in the north-east corner of the Airfield site, yet retains a wide
open area of separation to prevent coalescence of the two villages. This will ensure the creation of areas with distinctive identity and character.