Draft North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

Representation ID: 56018

Received: 05/10/2020

Respondent: Endurance Estates

Agent: Barton Willmore

Representation Summary:

Draft Policy 8 sets out support for the provision of new or enhanced open space and recreation sites/facilities. It states that regard will need to be had to the Cambridge City local standards of provision of all relevant types of open space (Appendix I, Cambridge Local Plan 2018) and the Councils’ open space and sports strategies. Draft Policy 8 sets out an expectation that all open space requirements will be met on-site.

We are concerned that the scale of development proposed within the NEC Action Area necessitates the provision of significantly more open space than can possibly be accommodated on-site.

An estimated total population of around 19,400 people (Retail Evidence Statement, paragraph 54) would bring an associated requirement for the following open space and recreation provision, in accordance with Appendix I of the CLP 2018:

• Outdoor sports facilities (1.2 ha per 1,000 people) = 23.3 ha;
• Indoor sports provision (1 sports hall for 13,000 people, 1 swimming pool for 50,000 people) = 1 sports hall plus further off-site contributions;
• Provision for children and teenagers (0.3 ha per 1,000 people) = 5.82 ha;
• Informal open space (2.2 ha per 1,000 people) = 42.7 ha; and
• Allotments (0.4 ha per 1,000 people) = 7.8 ha.

This evidences our assertion that the proposed quantum of residential development is too great for the size of the NEC Action Area.

The delivery of 8,000+ high quality dwellings, particularly at high densities, requires adequate space within the wider site to ensure that there is provision for recreation and sport for the residential population (and amenity space for local workers). As demonstrated above, the City Council’s own adopted open space standards demonstrate that the Site is unable to provide the on-site provision that should be delivered to support well-designed new homes. Improving connectivity with neighbouring areas of existing public open space does not, and should not, provide a substitute for the appropriate on-site provision recreation and sport. We remain concerned that the adjacent Chesterton Fen area is not secured within the boundary of the NEC Action Area (see comments above re: Policy 5).

The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed people’s mindsets, attitudes and amplified the intrinsic need for access to assets that facilitate healthy living and wellbeing. Policy emphasis should be upon ensuring that all future developments deliver high quality open spaces and a framework that facilitates a high quality of life that future residents and workers expect. The NEC AAP should be a flagship scheme in this regard, with the quantum of residential dwellings set at a reduced level that allows for all supporting infrastructure to be delivered on-site, including space for recreation and sport.