Question 2. Please submit any sites for employment and housing you wish to suggest for allocation in the Local Plan. Provide as much information and supporting evidence as possible.
Predominantly agricultural, although 16 dwellings and a number of rural commerical buildings are dispersed across the land, as well as two radio masts
The site has been identified as a potential location to accommodate a new garden village settlement, comprising of up to 5,000 new homes, employment land and accompanying land uses supported by new and existing infrastructure.
The proposal has the potential to address elements of regional growth requirements highlighted in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Area Review (CPIER) published in September 2018. This review was the product of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission and was produced for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. The Combined Authority is the Strategic Transport Planning Authority for the region. The landowner’s agent has discussed the proposed development with officers from the Combined Authority who consider it a location that could be well served by the proposed Cambridge Area Metro (CAM). This would provide high quality and high capacity public transport access to the site, Cambridge, the southern science parks and Haverhill.
3500 dwellings and supporting services including employment centre (250,000 sqft), retail, education, community facilities, country park, and rural travel hub to CamMetro link.
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The site is formed of five land parcels that are bisected by the A1307 and new highways and transport infrastructure would be required to provide accessibility to a new settlement of the scale proposed.
The parcel north of the A1307 fluctuates at various points where ground level raises by a maximum of approximately 30m in a northerly direction from the A1307. The ground level fluctuates less within the parcels situated south of the A1307 fluctuating by a maximum of approximately 10 metres at one point. Any proposed layout will therefore need to be sympathetic to the site's contours, in order to reduce any amenity issues e.g. overlooking. Landscape buffering will also assist in reducing the visual impact in terms of long views into and out of the site. Land stability and geological investigations have not yet been undertaken.
The element of the site situated north of the A1307 lies within Flood Zone 1 and presents minimal risk. The elements of the site situated south of the A1307 lie mostly within Flood Zone 1 and present minimal flood risk, however the most southerly parts of the site adjoin the River Granta and these parts lie within Flood Zones 2 and 3. Any proposed development will therefore need to be sited away from these parts of the site. There is no known contamination on the site. Any future planning application would be accompanied by a Phase 1 Contamination Assessment, which would assess the likelihood of contamination and recommend mitigation measures (if necessary). The Roman Road SSSI bounds the site to the north. The south-western portion of the site lies within the Impact Risk Zones of Demford Fen SSSI and Sawston Hall Meadows SSSI, whilst the north-western portion is located in the Gog Magog Golf Course SSSI Impact Risk Zone. It is unknown as to whether protected species are present on-site. Any future planning application would be accompanied by a Phase 1 Ecology Assessment, which would assess the likelihood of protected species being present on-site. Should there be a likelihood of protected species on-site, then further surveys would be undertaken and mitigation measures would be proposed e.g. the provision of bird/bat boxes. The northern boundary of the site also comprises a Scheduled Ancient Monument (Worstead Street (Via Devana) near Cambridge). A further Scheduled Ancient Monument is found in the north-west portion of the site (long barrow and enclosure 870m ENE of Copley Hill Farm), with one more located beyond the site's north-western boundary (bowl barow on Copley Hill). A Grade II listed building is found on-site. This is located to the north-east of the A1307 (The Icehouse). Several listed buildings located in the current built-up area of Babraham are in close proximity to the site. These include Home Farmhouse, 39 and 41 High Street, Chalk Farmhouse, Statue of Jonas Webb Opposite Chalk Farmhouse, Barn and Granary to West of the George Public House, The George Public House, The Old Post Office, Brick Row, and Church Farmhouse (all Grade II), and The Almshouses The School House (Grade II*). A further Grade II listed building (Temple Café and Restaurant) bounds the eastern parcel of land to the east. Any proposed development of the site will ensure that the character and significance of these heritage assets is respected. This could be achieved through appropriate landscape buffering and setting back development a suitable distance away from any heritage assets. According to the Agricultural Land Classification Map, the agricultural part of the land is Grades 2 and 3. A number of Public Right of Ways are located on-site. These include a byway running along the site's northern (REF: 12/2) and north-western boundary (12/3). A public footpath runs along the western parcel's western and southern borders, connecting to the existing Babraham settlement (REF: 12/11 and 12/5). Two further public footpaths are located on-site - one is located in the southern portion of the site (REF: 12/8), whilst the other is found in the east (REF: 12/4). Such a network of Public Right of Ways presents an opportunity to create a pedestrianised greenway and thus encourage future occupiers to access the surrounding countryside. The eastern portions of land bound the A11. Any future planning application for development of this part of the site would be accompanied by a Noise Assessment. It is likely that the built environment would need to be set back from the A11 in order to minimise the impact on residential amenity. Infrastructure
Two radio masts are located on-site. A gas main is located in the fields south of the A1307, east of Babraham. There would be a requirement to increase supplies of electricity, water, drainage, sewerage and broadband provision. The existing A1307 bisects the site and provides a direct road access in a westerly direction to Cambridge, the A11 and M11 motorway; and the A1017 and B1052 trunk roads are within close proximity. The A1307 is a major transport route that links Cambridge to Haverhill and part of this road is deemed a high casualty route. A proposed Park and Ride facility for the Cambridge Area Metro (CAM) could alleviate some of the problems identified with the existing transport corridor if integrated with existing and new development. The CAM will provide a high-quality, fast and reliable transport network that will transform transport connectivity across the Greater Cambridge region. The vision for the project is an expansive metro network that seamlessly connects Cambridge City Centre, key rail stations (Cambridge, Cambridge North and future Cambridge South), major city fringe employment sites and key ‘satellite’ growth areas, both within Cambridge and the wider region. A Strategic Outline Business Case to progress the Cambridge Area Metro is being submitted for consideration by the Board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on 27th March 2019. Under the Greater Cambridge City Deal, several new mass transit links are currently under development by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. One such scheme is the A1307 Three Campuses to Cambridge that will deliver improvements to the bus, walking and cycling network between the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the Babraham Research Campus and Haverhill, including a new, segregated public transport link between the Biomedical Campus and a new Park-and-Ride site at the A11 / A505 junction at Granta Park. These new transport infrastructure schemes could support an integrated new settlement at this location that is within close proximity to the proposed eastern Inner Radial route of the CAM between Cambridge and Granta Park.
The landowner has been approached by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and is therefore open to holding discussions with the Mayor's office and other key stakeholders.
Proximity to existing and emerging regional transport links; proximity to Cambridge; available in the short term; and all constraints are considered to be minor and/or easily overcome.
See 'G- suitability - site features and constraints'.