4. Village landscapes

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Draft Over Village Design Guide SPD

Representation ID: 167821

Received: 30/04/2019


Representation Summary:

Support that the village should sustain its green fingers within the village and not infill develop these. Also support to maintain the village's compact shape.

Full text:

Support that the village should sustain its green fingers within the village and not infill develop these. Also support to maintain the village's compact shape.
Support that infill and back garden development in the Historic Core should be avoided and that we should consider reviewing to extend the conservation area to include Over End.
Support the recommendation to extend footways and cycleways towars Willingham, widen towards Swavesey and enable circular routes. We would also suggest that the recommendation to improve footway and cycleway access across the river is advantageous, meaning the accessing villages/towns on the other side of the river is faster by bike than by car, therefby reducing traffic
Comment on the recommendation that individual houses should have elevations in a single material. We do not believe this is necessarily reflective of the area (our home is an example of brick and weatherboarding and we are in the conservation area). However maintaining sympathetic designs in keeping with the adjacent and general village character is extremely important to us.
The suggestion is made the the Southern edges of the village are more suitable for development, and the prairie edge to the East is less suitable for development. We do not necessarily agree with this. Development towards the Southern (guided busway) end would merge Over with Swavesey, although appreciate it would provide good access to the public transport system. The greater separation between the villages of Over and Willingham we feel woudl allow better development towards this end of the village.



Draft Over Village Design Guide SPD

Representation ID: 168308

Received: 28/05/2019

Respondent: bpha

Representation Summary:

At paragraph 4.5 it is stated 'Development should seek to maintain and enhance wildlife corridors in ways that are not costly to maintain.' The importance of wildlife corridors is supported as is the recognition that this should be undertaken in a cost effective way.

Full text:

Overall bpha are supportive of the approach taken within the South Cambridgeshire Village Design Statements.
bpha is a registered not for profit affordable housing provider with over 18,000 homes within the Cambridge to Oxford arc. We are committed to building and maintaining quality affordable homes in thriving communities.
More information can be found at — www.bpha.org.uk

bpha have a commitment to provide well-designed high quality housing for our customers. Our approach to delivery is informed by key financial viability considerations. We look forward to working with SCDC to deliver a range of housing opportunities for your residents that is financially sustainable and reflects that addresses the design issues raised in the statement.

As an organisation bpha are looking to increase the number of homes that we provide through land-led opportunities. The Village Design Guides provide a useful insight into the important design issues at a neighbourhood level that we will consider early in the development design and planning process. We remain committed to working with SCDC in order to find appropriate design responses to housing development.

We are currently in contract with various developers across multiple sites in the South Cambridgeshire area. Most notable locally is that bpha are contracted to deliver all affordable homes on Phase 1 at Northstowe. Via our Market sale arm Bushmead Homes we have acquired open market sites in Over, Swavesey and Gamlingay to deliver market sale and affordable homes.

Please find attached below comments on the Village Design Statements. Should you have any questions on the points raised please do not hesitate in contacting me.

In terms of an overall comment the Village Design Statements cover seven villages across South Cambridgeshire. What would be helpful is also identifying important design considerations for those villages that sit outside the areas covered by the Village Design Statements. We are currently actively looking at rural exception sites across South Cambridgeshire and such guidance would be useful.

In relatoin to the content of the Village Design Statements. The broad comments that can be read across all the statements can be summarised into the following categories:

Affordable Housing - the deliery of new affordable housing is key to the delivery of the strategic objectives of bpha. In terms of village sustainability the delivery of affordable homes to meet the needs of the local community is vital. This requires the delivery of a broad range and tenure of homes.

While there is reference to the importance of well-designed affordable housing such as in the case of Robinson Court, Gamlingay, many of the statements are silent on the issue of affordable housing. The planning system should balance the demand of particular the types of affordable housing within a village with the requirements of the densikty parameters set out in the Village Design Statements. Therefore the approach to meeting specific housing needs should be addressed in the Village Design Statements. Consideration to the Nationally Prescribed Space Standards, Lifetime Homes and Building Regulation accessibility/adaptability ought to considered.

Materials - the approach to taken to the appropriate materials to be used within new developments is broadly supported. It is welcomed that the document refers to the type of materials that are likely to be acceptable without specifying specific products.

The availability of materials is a critical factor for development delivery, with the lead in times for materials such as bricks having a significant impact on a development programme. Therefore we would welcome a dialogue with SCDC early in the development process of a broad palette of products that would be acceptable. This is cruicial for our cost planning of developments.

The Village Design Statements should also recognise that in relation to innovation in the building industry through Modern Methods of Construction to include off-site and modular housing. A sustainability balance should be struck between innovation and following a rigid design approach.

Public Realm Investment - In the case of the larger villages reference such as Sawston and Fulbourn reference is made to the need for public realm improvements being made to the local centre. We would strongly support improvements being made the public realm to contribute towards the viability of local service provision within village centres.

In terms of specific comments, we have the following comments on the individual Village Design Statements:


Support the principles of partnership working on flood management. There is no mention of affordable housing within the statement this should be addressed.


The following statement is made 'The need for a housing mix including suitable dwellings for the elderly and for younger households' is identifed as not an issue to be addressed with the Village Design Statement. This is not correct as the approach taken to density in the Statements will affect the delivery of certain types of affordable housing.

The objective for an improved High Street is supported as improvements to the public realm will support the financial viability of local services as it will create a better environment to visit.

In relation to improvements to existing stock there needs to be a consideration of wider issues such as External Wall Insulation and the acceptability of such changes.

At paragraph 10.13 reference is made to self build reference in addition the reference should be extended to include custom build.


Broad support to the reference that affordable housing can play in village i.e. Robinson Court. The reference to taking influence from non-residential uses in housing such as agricultural and live work influences is welcomed


At paragraph 4.5 it is stated 'Development should seek to maintain and enhance wildlife corridors in ways that are not costly to maintain.' The importance of wildlife corridors is supported as is the recognition that this should be undertaken in a cost effective way.

We support the proposals for better linkages to the guided busway. Mobility is critical for access to jobs and services and it is recognised that access to a car is lower for those on lower incomes.

At paragraph 8.7 it is stated 'Surface of green lanes should be permeable and easy to maintain'. We support the provision of a green land network this should consider the whole life costing of mterials to be used. In addition consideration should be given to the materials being acceptable for cycling. Sustrans give useful guidance in the following document: www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/files/migrated-pdfs/Technical%20Note%208%20-%20Path%20surfaces(1).pdf

Papworth Everard

The statement makes a strong emphasis on corridors for movement, the point made above on Over is of relevance here.


The use of terraces to raise densities is supported.
The proposed public realm improvements and frontages is supported although an appropriate upfront capital budget is important it is also critical that there is a long-term revenue maintenance budget


Support the need for collaborative working on flood risk. In relation to the requirement for low carbon housing this should take into account the need for schemes to be viable with a sustainable maintenance strategy. Consider design implications of electrical generation (solar PVs) due to the shift to electric cars etc.