North East Cambridge Area Action Plan Issues and Options 2019
Representation ID: 33773
Respondent: Veolia and Turnstone Estates
Agent: Carter Jonas
It is considered that the AAP will need to identify and define a strategy for key sites/ uses to be relocated, but maintain flexibility for others. At present limited information has been provided on relocation. However the needs of the existing Veolia business needs to be carefully considered. If they are to be relocated, any new site needs to be located within Cambridge, preferably within or close to the NEC Area. Veolia is an important and viable local business which needs to be in the locality.
North East Cambridge Area Action Plan (AAP) - Issues and Options Consultation February 2019
Response on behalf of Veolia and Turnstone Estates
Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council is consulting on Issues and Options for the North East Cambridge AAP. The consultation deadline is 25th March 2019. This response has been prepared on behalf of Veolia and Turnstone Estates for land at Cowley Road, Cambridge outlined in red on the accompanying Site Location Plan.
The representations contained herein relate primarily to the development intentions for the Cowley Road site, but also in the context of the wider AAP area. Cambridge City Council own the freehold of the site where Veolia have a long leasehold interest in the land from which they operate waste transfer station which serves Cambridge and its sub-region.
There are a total of 84 Questions covering a range of themes provided within the consultation document and those considered relevant to the Veolia site at Cowley Road are summarised below:
Question 2: Is the proposed boundary the most appropriate one for the AAP?
We are generally supportive of the proposed boundary for the AAP area. However, land in close proximity should be included to provide relocation opportunities for existing established businesses within the area.
Question 3: In this Chapter have we correctly identified the physical characteristics of the North East Cambridge Area and its surroundings?
Generally yes, however it would be beneficial for additional information to be provided regarding environmental constraints associated with the Veolia business operation e.g. noise, air quality, odour. Veolia provide environmental services and operate a waste transfer station from the site, however the document has only made reference to the Waste Water Recycling Centre.
Question 4: Have we identified all relevant constraints present on, or affecting, the North East Cambridge Area?
Consideration has not been given or reference made to the existing Veolia business operation on Cowley Road. Careful consideration needs to be given to noise, air quality and odour as these may pose a significant constraint to development of the surrounding area.
There are commercial reasons for Veolia to be located on Cowley Road and some future uses such as residential would not be compatible with their business operation should they remain on site. There is a requirement for them to be located within the area.
We would also suggest that consideration is given to the inclusion of sites on the edge of the proposed NEC. If some of the existing industrial uses are to be relocated as part of the redevelopment proposals, these businesses are important to the Cambridge Sub-region and need to be located in close proximity to Cambridge.
Question 5: Do you agree with the proposed Vision for the future of the North East Cambridge area? If not, what might you change?
Yes, the proposed vision is generally supported, however this may need to modified should Veolia remain where they currently are on Cowley Road.
Question 6: Do you agree with the overarching Objectives? If not, what might you change?
Yes generally, however careful consideration needs to be given to existing established businesses within the area such as Veolia.
Question 7: Do you support the overall approach shown in the Indicative Concept Plan? Do you have any comments or suggestions to make?
It is noted that the Concept Plan can only be treated as indicative at this stage in the AAP process, until the outcomes of the various supporting studies are known and wider consultation with relevant interested parties has taken place.
The land to the north of Cowley Road is allocated for residential-led mixed use development. As outlined, the existing Veolia use constitutes a constraint to the surrounding land coming forward for residential purposes. The existing Veolia waste transfer use is not compatible with the movements and activities associated with a residential use, particularly due to environmental constraints such as noise, air quality and noise. Unless a viable relocation site is found, the vision and concept plan should be modified to enable Veolia to remain on site. The potential relocation to the north east corner of the site might be broadly supported, however further information on this needs to be provided. It is considered that the area would also constitute a suitable location for employment intensification. It is clear that further supporting studies need to take place before the concept plan can be finalised.
Question 8: Do you agree that outside of the existing business areas, the eastern part of the North east Cambridge AAP area (i.e. the area east of Milton Road) should provide a higher density mixed use residential led area with intensified employment, relocation of existing industrial uses and other supporting uses?
Outside of the existing business areas, we are generally supportive of the initial development intentions for the area east of Milton Road. However, careful consideration needs to be given to the needs and requirements of the existing Veolia business. If Veolia remains on site, this would be a constraint to the future residential led redevelopment of the area. No information has been provided on the relocation of the existing industrial uses. As outlined above, the Veolia business provides an invaluable service to Cambridge and needs to be conveniently located within the City.
Question 11: Are there any particular land uses that should be accommodated in the North East Cambridge Area?
The AAP provides a significant opportunity to create thousands of new homes in a highly sustainable location. However, careful consideration needs to be given to the needs and requirements of the Veolia and other established businesses within the area as these are of paramount importance to the continued growth of the Cambridge sub region. Veolia is an established Cambridge business that needs to be located in close proximity to Cambridge. These industrial uses need to be considered at the outset and if they are to be relocated, any future site needs to be conveniently located and also represent a viable alternative.
Question 16: Should the AAP include any or a combination of the options below to improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity through the site and to the surrounding area?
The options to create a strong east-west axis to unite Cambridge North Station with the Science Park is supported. This can successfully be achieved on Cowley Road without impacting on the Veolia site and operation. The options to improve connectivity between Cowley Road and Nuffield Road are also supported and this will ensure safe and convenient travel through the wider site ensuring coordinated development.
Question 20: Do you agree with proposals to include low levels of parking as part of creating a sustainable new city district focusing on non-car transport?
The sustainable approach towards car parking and the focus on non-car transport is broadly supported. However consideration needs to be given towards the requirements of the Veolia use. The Veolia operation needs to be conveniently located and given the industrial nature of the business, car parking for staff and customers along with access for various forms of vehicles (HGV's etc.) needs to be taken on board.
Question 28: Do you agree that car parking associated with new development should be low, and we should take the opportunity to reduce car parking in existing developments (alongside the other measures to improve access by means other than the car)?
The concept of encouraging non-car modes of travel is supported. However, as outlined above, consideration of the business requirements for the Veolia use is important.
Question 36: Which of the following approaches should the AAP take to existing industrial uses in the north east Cambridge Area?
As acknowledged within the Consultation Document, the existing industrial uses within the area are important to the Cambridge economy. If the uses are to remain in situ, careful consideration does need to be given to the compatibility with adjoining future uses such as residential.
The Veolia operation needs to be located within Cambridge and provides an invaluable service to a wide range of Cambridge businesses.
Question 37: Are there particular uses that should be retained in the area or moved elsewhere?
As outlined in the response to Question 36, it is imperative that the Veolia use remains within the area.