Cambridge Northern Fringe East AAP - Issues and Options

Representation ID: 29357

Received: 15/12/2014

Respondent: Dr Anthony J Cooper

Representation Summary:

1. Serious public money needs to be invested.
2. Inaccessible location
3. Anglian Water sewage works and railway sidings hampers development potential
4. Power line would need to be removed.
5. Relocation of stagecoach needed.
6. New station could increase traffic.
7. Brookgate would have to develop site in a way that would work coherently with potential future development in the area.
8. Transport links would need to be improved.

Full text:

Cambridge Northern Fringe East

I have studied the consultation documents and have come to the conclusion that this area is largely useless from the point of view of development potential unless, of course, serious public money is invested in it, a return from which is not likely to be forthcoming for several years.

2 The area is sealed off from the outside world by the railway to the east, the A14 to the north and fairly impenetrable suburbia to the south. The only access by road is from the Milton Road, which is probably reaching the limit of its capacity, and Cowley Road.

3 The area is, of course, dominated by Anglia Water's WWTP, the sewage works. It seems quite clear that Anglian Water is not prepared to abandon the plant and move elsewhere or reduce its footprint. Indeed they want to expand it, as they probably need to do so, given the amount of new development taking place, or due to take place, in and around the city. It was not clear to me whether much can be done to reduce the stink from these works or whether Anglian Water would even try to do so.

4 There are also, of course, two aggregate facilities. These will need to remain in place, monopolising the derelict railway sidings, at least and until the A14 is rebuilt. The operators may want to move their site northwards, to a point adjacent to the A14, and build a connection to the road, taking the secondary aggregate plant with them, but they will wish to retain the connection with the railway. This does not leave much of the derelict sidings available for redevelopment until the operators move out. In the meantime their activities will contribute to the aromas wafting around the place.

5 There is also the existence of a high tension power line which runs diagonally right across the area. This will need to be moved.

6 Another large chunk of the area is taken up by Stagecoach by their bus depot. They will take some persuading to move out. If they do where will they go? I suppose this depot generates a fair amount of traffic, not only by the buses but by the staff, including the bus drivers. They presumably use Cowley Road.

7 I have not revisited the business case for the new rail station but it must look rather thin unless the promoters are laying store by the connection with the busway, i.e. it will turn out to be an interchange station. Would car commuters thread their way through the area to park at the new station? I doubt it.

8 Brookgate want to develop the only part of the area which is feasible for redevelopment and if allowed to do so they will take the low hanging fruit. If they are allowed to build it is likely to be the only substantial development to take place in the area for many years to come. I suppose they could be prevailed upon to develop in such a way that the possibility of expansion into the rest of the area is not precluded.

9 Is there any prospect of public money being available to improve the connections to this area from the outside world? Given that there is no immediate prospect of substantial development taking place for many years I doubt it.