We are busy discussing whether we can have a petition after our previous petition was rejected on a technicality. The following is our draft text : Continue reading
Dear City Council
Our following comments are in connection with the Abbey Road Stadium improvements 16/1375/OUT | A phased redevelopment of the football stadium.
We welcome this application as an excellent opportunity for the community and club to secure improvements to the grounds and surrounds, but are nervous of the details as supplied and the present density and massing of buildings along the western edge, especially western stand. Continue reading
Cambridge Cycling Campaign are exorting their members to support the application in the face of “a small but vociferous group”, but not giving them or encouraging them to read any detail on the scheme. We have 12 of the most popular myths about the Chisholm Trail and Abbey-Chesterton Bridge below. We hope this helps you.
If you want the full story of why these applications are so poor, go to our response to the planning application for the bridge.
Cambridgeshire County Council has been forced to reopen the consultation on the controversial Abbey-Chesterton Bridge after a public backlash over its environmental impacts and timing. The consultation was previously timed to coincide with the school holidays, when many residents were away.
The 2-hectare application area is on 4 Local Wildlife Sites and a Local Nature Reserve; two rivers Cam and Coldhams Brook (aka Cherry Hinton Brook or River Stour ); within two Conservation Areas, near multiple Listed Buildings and is within the Green Belt and within a floodplain. It is therefore a highly sensitive location. Cambridge Evening News has highlighted the presence of Otters on the Cam, which council surveys failed to find. http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/otters-have-been-ignored-fresh-row-over-new-cambridge-cycle-bridge-s-impact-on-city-wildlife/story-29607006-detail/story.html
Complaints were also raised about the council website constantly crashing, preventing access to documents and discouraging people from submitting their objections.
There were repeated complaints about not getting the information or chance to reply. Many people may simply have given up objecting, worn down and losing faith in the council.
We welcomed the consultation being reopened, but felt surprised that it remained unmentioned at a Local Liaison Meeting on Monday 5 October only three days before : “There is a repeated pattern of certain council officers and councillors failing to publicise consultations when the responses are unlikely to favour cycling projects. We will be raising the question why at the presentation of our petition to the council ( Joint Development Committee on Monday 10 October at 1:00 ). Whilst councillors may attach differing weights to the value of a new £5m cycle bridge versus the impacts from its construction, the effects on this highly sensitive floodplain environment should be subject to proper scrutiny and due process.”
The new consultation for the bridge under C/5007/16/CC at reopened on 8 September and will last for 3 weeks
Chisholm Trail planning application C/5007/16/CC – appeal for assistance in scrutiny by 29 September
The route has a total landtake of close to 5 hectares and will cut through some of the most sensitive areas within the city, including 5 Local Wildlife Sites, completely destroying one of them, Barnwell Junction Disused Railway. The route runs through the floodplain of Coldhams Brook, which includes important populations of water voles and otters and dark commuting corridors for bats. Secondary development of a cafe and retail units on Barnwell Lakes LWS is also proposed. The locations for haul roads and compounds are not yet detailed and may involve additional impacts.
The ecological report is accompanied by no survey information other than walkovers. To quote a typo in the ecology report “Ecological features of nature conservation value in the context of the Application Site have been scoped out of the EcIA”.
The cycle route will also have very significant landscape effects on two Conservation Areas and on the setting of Listed Buildings, including the Grade 1 Leper Chapel.
This route choice appears especially gratuitous when it is realised that there is an existing cycle route along the entire length, and that sections of the path are designed to routinely flood and will be impassable. The £2m underpass proposed on Newmarket Road is directly next to a functioning crossing point.
We would ask for assistance in scrutinising this application and raising holding objections on the lack of information supplied, in particular :
Lack of consideration of in-combination and cumulative effects, in particular with the bridge scheme;
Lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment;
Lack of survey data for water voles, otters, birds, bats and rare species
Finally many thanks to people for their support in commenting on the consultation on the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge. Partly as a result of this, the council have also reopened consultation on the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge : http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=C/5005/16/CC
We submitted our responses to the planning application, which stretched to 26 pages on 18 August. The council have refused our request to upload it to the planning website, so that the objections to the scheme can be seen. You can either download it as a pdf here : Link to download of our planning response ( pdf )
and our suggestions for the cheaper alternative is here : cheap-as-chips-trail-v4
Or links to the sections of the full text are below :
The application for the Chesterton-Abbey Bridge will have significant impacts on Ditton Meadows. Many people have not been able to respond due to the council website crashing or being away on holiday. The application was made with little publicity at the height of the holiday season. We hope to fix this by a petition.
A petition via Cambridge City about the bridge application as submitted also deals with many common issues for City Deal e.g. the severity of environmental impacts, but also poor design, lack of information, poor consultation and due process. You can find it here :
http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/mgepetitionlistdisplay.aspx?bcr=1%20 or type “Cambridge City Council petitions” into Google and then look for “Save_Fen_Ditton_Meadows”.
What will it achieve
If there are enough signatures the City/County/South Cambs will call a Joint Development Control Committee to discuss the issues. Anyone resident in Cambridgeshire or with a business interest/job in Cambridgeshire can sign it.
Closing date for petition is 30 August, which allows those who on holiday more timeto make their voices heard.
Why should I sign ?
You may feel that the impacts on wildlife, landscape and the environment are outweighed by the benefits for cyclists.
However Cambridgeshire is a beautiful wildlife-rich place to live. Sometimes it is taken for granted that this always has been and always will be the case. This planning application – on one of the most sensitive sites in Cambridge – merits the strongest scrutiny possible, but is incoherent and lacks objective assessment on the significance of its’ impacts.
How can I help ?
Please pass this on to people you feel might be interested. Your help would be much appreciated in promoting it on-line.
Cambridge deserves better.