Planning application at Barnwell Pits by Barnwell Lake Cafe Ltd
17/1484/OUT | The erection of a cycle-themed cafe and shop along with associated infrastructure including car and cycle parking and new internal roads. | Land Adjacent To Barnwell Lake Newmarket Road Cambridge
Proposal is for outline permission for development of 0.7 hectares for retail and catering with parking and access roads, all matters reserved except access.
Deadline for public comments is 6 October. The planning application reference number is 17/1484/OUT
Full documents are available here : Link to Cambridge City Council planning application
The application for the development references Cambridge Cycling Campaign’s Chisholm Trail vision and states that it is fully sustainable due to the access provided by the Chisholm Trail.
The site is a Local Wildlife Site, well-known for its breeding and wintering birds, but also includes important fragments of species-rich grassland. It also supports an isolated population of viviparous lizards – one of few within the city . Crucially it is part of a narrow river corridor along Coldhams Brook and vital core habitat for otters, bats and other aquatic species in a crowded city. The site is a vital landscape link between the Cam and Coldhams Common and directly opposite the Leper Chapel
The site is proposed for outline permission as a “sports” cafe and retail unit with 37 parking spaces. Cambridge Cycling Campaign appear fully supportive of the scheme despite it being green belt and causing substantial harm to wildlife habitats and the character of the area. The development will not only lead to physical loss of a Local Wildlife Site, but also intensification in disturbance for bats, birds and otters using the lake surrounds.
The proposals are completely against local plan policy and a previous plan for a restaurant and night club on the site was successfully resisted in 1990 by the local council.
At the planning meeting for the Chisholm Trail, councillors were assured that there were no plans to develop the site and that it would be managed in perpetuity for wildlife if the Chisholm Trail were given permission. However it would now appear that rather than saving Barnwell Pits for wildlife, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and the Cambridge Cycling Campaign have been instrumental in its potential destruction.