Draft North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

Representation ID: 55733

Received: 05/10/2020

Respondent: Brookgate

Agent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

Policy 10d sets out more detailed policy guidance for the Station Approach Local
Centre, including acceptable land uses, indicative development capacity, phasing
and development and design requirements.
The extent of the land parcel for the Station Approach Local Centre is not clear
from Figure 24 but Brookgate broadly support the proposed land uses and
indicative development capacities set out in Policy 10d, with the exception of the
100m2 for community and cultural uses.
The next phase at Cambridge North is proposing to include for a Specialist Maths
School of 200 pupils (opening with 100 initially). The Government has committed to
having a 16-19 maths school in every region, 11 in total. The Department for
Education (DfE), through the Learning Alliance, has identified the Cambridge North
site as an ideal location for this, due to regional accessibility and wider economy
and skills concentration.
The inclusion of a Maths School is compatible and complimentary to the other uses
being brought forward in the wider allocation and will not affect the ability to bring
forward wider residential and commercial development.
LocatED is an Arms-Length Body to the Department for Education. It is responsible
for buying and developing sites in England to help deliver much needed new school
places for thousands of children. It was commissioned to identify and acquire a site
within Cambridge to facilitate the school, of c.2,450 sq m.

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An extensive site search was undertaken originally in 2017 and a follow up search
in 2018/20 which demonstrated the challenges of land availability and suitability. In
2020, further to this review search (which identified 16 sites), a shortlist of four sites
was drawn up. A high level discussion was then held in March 2020 between
LocatED’s Jacqueline Nixon and the Assistant Director of Planning at GCP
(Sharon Brown) to discuss the four shortlisted sites. The Cambridge North site was
then chosen as the most suitable.
The site is the most sustainably located of all of the sites appraised as part of the
site search. This is due to its proximity to Cambridge North Station and busway
interchange. Maths Schools are expected to have regional accessibility and
therefore this is an optimum location for accessibility and sustainability
Policy 10d therefore needs to recognise the potential to accommodate a Specialist
Maths School within the Local Centre of circa 2,450 sq. m.
Brookgate, in dialogue and agreement with Network Rail, also support the
requirement for the existing station car park to be re-provided in a more efficient
multi-storey car barn as part of a mixed-use higher density development proposal.
This will be included in a future phase of Cambridge North and will involve dialogue
with Network Rail, the Train Operating Company (TOC) and Cambridgeshire
County Council as appropriate throughout the design and planning process.
Policy 10d states that development proposals should consider taking the First
Public Drain overflow out of its culvert which extends into ‘the Knuckle’ (the area
around the bend in Cowley Road) and flows through to Chesterton Fen.
5.15 The FPD overflow is culverted where it crosses the Cambridge North site.
The FPD has already been diverted (and retained in a culvert) as part of the
Cambridge North Station project. Brookgate do not consider it appropriate to carry
out further works on this drainage asset. The culverted section of the FPD through
the Cambridge North site is quite deep and any proposals to ‘open up’ a section of
the drain would be difficult to achieve without steep sided slopes and would
inevitably lead to H&S and maintenance issues in perpetuity. Brookgate is
supportive of introducing ‘soft’ SUDS across the whole of the NEC site and to
provide visual ‘clues’ to how surface water is managed through the introduction of
swales, water bodies and rain gardens. However as discussed above given the
practical issues with the existing FPD diversion we do not consider it appropriate to
‘open up’ this section of the drain.
Policy 10d states that a new public open space (Station Place) along Station
Approach should be provided to create an informal space which offers
opportunities for people to dwell and interact. Brookgate are broadly supportive of
this although the exact siting and quantum of space will need to be determined as
part of the future design and planning process.
The Policy also states that the development and design requirements for the
Station Approach Local Centre includes safeguarding land to accommodate the
CAM (including interim construction site) adjacent to Cambridge North Station to
facilitate a transport hub. Brookgate would welcome discussions with all
stakeholders to understand the extent and scope of land safeguarded in the
context of existing/future development in this area.