Draft Bourn Airfield Supplementary Planning Document - June 2019

Representation ID: 167983

Received: 23/07/2019

Respondent: Parish Council of Waresley-cum-Tetworth

Representation Summary:


It is untenable to allow development of a further 3500 homes without a fast and reliable public transport system between Cambourne and Cambridge - development of Bourn Airfield will be opposed until such a transport system is in place.

Residents travel in the opposite direction of the A428 to get to London via St Neots train station, leading to rush hour queues in the westerly direction of the A428. Development should not be permitted until completion of the A428 upgrade.
Development of Bourn Airfield will result in a ribbon of development on the A428.

Full text:

Although our parish is outside your district, development of this site would have a profound effect on us, and so thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment.

We are fifteen miles from Cambridge but many residents of Waresley look to Cambridge for work, schools, shopping and leisure. However over the last twenty years, access to Cambridge has become increasingly difficult. We have watched the development of Cambourne and in consequence the unsustainable increase in traffic on the A428, as well as the complete destruction of our own public transport system to Cambridge, in favour of this new development, which was imposed upon us.

Now a further 3500 homes on this route is proposed, in addition to the 10,000 or so already at Cambourne.

My parish councillors all agree that this is untenable without a fast and reliable public transport system between Cambourne and Cambridge. We absolutely oppose any development of Bourn Airfield until such a transport system is up and running. Clearly a simple bus, however frequent, would not suffice, as that would just join the existing line of traffic. This situation will not be resolved until the A428 can connect directly with the M11.

An unforeseen consequence of the Cambourne development was that residents would also be travelling in the opposite direction along the A428 to get to London via the train station at St Neots. This has led to rush hour queues in the westerly direction on the A428 and to a swamping of the St Neots station car park, such that it becomes full at the crack of dawn.

It should be recognised that in this proposed development, some residents will be joining this
westerly stream.

Consequently no development should be permitted until the A428 upgrade is complete. This will not happen until 2025-6 at the earliest.

With regard to the SPD plan, we note in paragraph 1.3.3 "The development of Bourn Airfield should not result in the coalescence of settlements. In particular there should not appear to be a continuous ribbon of development along the A428." We absolutely agree with this laudable sentiment. However, any development of Bourn Airfield will result in precisely this ribbon development on the A428, bordered as it is by Highfields-Caldecote to the east and Cambourne to the West. As Cambourne is planned to extend to the Caxton Gibbet, this will give continuous development along the A428 from the Gibbet to Caldecote -exactly what you say you are trying to avoid.

Development of Bourn Airfield could have been considered as a practical use of a brown field site, but that was before the adjacent green field site of Cambourne was sacrificed to housing development. While the retention of the airstrips at Bourn is to be applauded as some recognition of the original character of the place, this is simply paying lip service to conservation issues - the bottom line is continuous housing along the A428 with continued and increasing traffic congestion.

We oppose this development in the short term until better transport infrastructure both with public transport and the road access system are in place.