Greater Cambridge Local Plan Preferred Options
Representation ID: 57827
Respondent: Mr WILLIAM WICKSTEED
Don't try to cram in too many homes - create an environment and houses that are different from Cambridge City and surrounds.
Develop mechanisms to ensure that social amenities and services are provided early on.
The new settlements are well-placed to meet important needs for the economic well-functioning of the wider plan area, so employment sites should not be re-zoned for other uses even if take up is slow.
None of the settlements is any where near big enough for a self contained labour market so attractive public transport provision is essential.
The important roles which are envisaged for the new settlements mean that it is vital, for the success of the plan as a whole that these major developments come forward in a manner, encompassing both physical form and development trajectory (i.e. what is developed and when) that make them attractive for both people and firms.
In respect of housing this calls for a good variety in development densities so that a significant proportion of the houses are developed with sizeable gardens and are thereby differentiated from the costlier development sites within and next to the City of Cambridge. It also needs social facilities and amenities – schools, shops and green space – to be provided early encouraged, if necessary, by initial lower or rent-free premises for commercial uses. Perhaps a proportion of 106 contributions can be earmarked for this purpose?
In respect of employment land in the new settlements it is crucial that sufficient of the premises developed are appropriate for service and smaller manufacturing businesses that are being squeezed out of Cambridge City by more prestige employment provision or housing (e.g. proposals for the Travis Perkins site near the railway station). A growth in the number and scale of innovative, high value, manufacturing businesses is important so as to extend the innovation chain and improve feedback loops to the research base, thereby ensuring that the potential economic contribution of our area's science and technology strengths is captured within the UK.
It should be accepted that none of the settlements will be of a scale, even when fully developed, that avoids most residents travelling out for work, so attractive public transport links to Cambridge's major employment sites are vital for sustainability.