Anne Kent, County Councillor for Trumpington, gave us a very informative talk at the May monthly meeting about developments on the Southern Fringe of Cambridge. She explained that the Structure Plan had been agreed last year and that the City Council Local Plan is near to agreement. Under these plans developments in the Trumpington area include a total of 2,600 dwellings. These will be situated at Clay Farm (between Long Road and Trumpington) and at Glebe Farm (which extends from the Clay Farm development round the south of the present southernmost houses in Trumpington). As development sites elsewhere in Cambridge are failing to materialise as soon as expected, a further 600 houses will be built at the Bell School site behind Babraham Road. A green wedge from the Nine Wells, along Hobson’s Brook, will be safeguarded.
As well as housing development there will also be a large expansion at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to include increased clinical research facilities, a bio-tech park (a certain car journey generator), possibly a new private hospital and possibly the transfer of Papworth Hospital to the site. Addenbrooke’s are also anxious to safeguard a further piece of land to the south of their proposed developments for future expansion.
Final details of all these developments have yet to be agreed but the approximate number of new dwellings to be built in the present schemes is decided and will not be reduced. The task now is to find the best way to integrate the developments with the present village of Trumpington and to create access to, and routes within the developments for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
An additional, potential development outside the framework of the Structure Plan and the Local Plan which could provide 800-1000 more dwellings, has recently been proposed (see Newsletter 53). The land for this development has become available because Monsanto are to move from their two large sites on the west of Trumpington behind Waitrose, and further south on the west of Hauxton Road and the A10 towards Hauxton. They are proposing to build houses and some commercial development on the brown field sites at the northern end of their land and on the green belt area around the Park and Ride site. In exchange for permission to build on these areas, they would donate 80% of their land to a charity (such as the Cambridge Preservation Trust) for the creation of a country park. This would extend to the river Cam in the west and down to and beyond the M11 motorway as far as Hauxton Mill. They would create a cycle path which would run from Trumpington Church to the existing accommodation bridge over the M11 and on to the A10 opposite the Mill. This is being offered as a package. Negotiations continue.
Add to this the proposed Cambridge Guided Bus route and the proposed new road from Hauxton Road to Addenbrooke’s, and it will be seen that much transport planning is needed. One of the main issues to be decided is the route of the new access road to Addenbrooke’s. Should this form a ring road around the housing development (in the manner of King’s Hedges Road) and across a second new bridge over the railway, or should it go north, through the housing development and cross the railway together with the guided bus? Should the guided bus leave the busway and join an ordinary road and access the Park and Ride site using the new road? Should the branch to Addenbrooke’s be a busway or an ordinary road shared with other Addenbrooke’s traffic? Whatever happens over these matters, the County Council’s firm policy is that the access road should stop at Addenbrooke’s and should not form part of a through route. But what are the dangers of this becoming a southern relief road in the future – particularly if it is routed round the south of the development?
A decision on the route of the Addenbrooke’s access road will have been taken by the County Council by the time you read this Newsletter, but there will still be a great deal of work to do to make sure that the whole development is built on sound family-oriented principles with open spaces among the houses, with people-friendly roadways, and pedestrian and cycle permeability throughout. A new grant of money has been made available for cycle routes connected to these developments and many decisions will have to be made on these routes. One example of a project that could be funded from this grant is a new bridge from Coe Fen to Lammas Land to enable cyclists to ride across to Newnham rather than having to cross the present narrow bridge by pushing their bikes up steps or in a metal groove. Good access to the future south Cambridge Sustrans route through Shelford will be important too.
The Campaign will make every possible effort to influence the design of the road and cycleway network.
We are very grateful to Anne Kent for giving us such an informative and interesting talk and for her very helpful and encouraging participation in the ensuing lively discussion.