Stapleford Conservation Area

Your opportunity to comment:

GCP opens informal consultation on its proposed changes to Stapleford’s Conservation Area

Overview
• On 18th January 2021, Stapleford Parish Council was invited by Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service (GCP) to comment on its Draft Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan for Stapleford.
• Proposals appear to earmark around 20% of the existing Conservation Area for exclusion.
• The draft appraisal is open for comment from until Monday 15th February 2021.
• The Parish Council will be submitting its own thoughts and encourages individual parishioners to do the same.

What are Conservation Areas?
Conservation Areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place or, in other words, the features that make it unique and distinctive. Conservation Area appraisals describe the character and significance of Conservation Areas and give
recommendations for their maintenance and enhancement. Appraisals are reviewed periodically. The Conservation Area in Stapleford has not previously had an appraisal so it requires an update, which is being done by GCP’s Historic Environment Team.

Cambridge City Council has 17 Conservation Areas, whilst South Cambridgeshire District Council has 84.

Where is Stapleford’s Conservation Area?
Stapleford’s Conservation Area was originally designated in 1989. It centres around the Church and the junction between Church St, Mingle Lane and Gog Magog Way, which is the historic core of the village. GCP’s draft appraisal describes the Conservation Area as “quiet and sylvan, and its character is that of a nineteenth and twentieth-century residential area, with glimpses of the surrounding countryside, through gaps between houses.” As such, the Conservation Area has a more strongly rural character than the remainder of Stapleford.

Houses here are large and distinctive, set back from the curving streets in big, well-spaced plots and enclosed by tall hedgerows and mature trees, many of which are protected. Kerbs are composed of traditional materials, verges are green, and long views extend from the churchyard and between houses across rising chalk downs to the north. Small heritage assets include traditional signposts, the village sign, post box and railings.

Landmark buildings and key views within Stapleford’s Conservation Area include St Andrew’s Church, Johnson Memorial Hall, 25 Church St, and views east and west along Mingle Lane from the Church and towards the Church from Gog Magog Way.

Is development permitted within the Conservation Area?
Although Conservation Areas have some extra planning controls and considerations, these exist to protect the historic and architectural elements which make a place special. They are  most likely to affect owners who want to work on the outside of their building or any trees on their property.

Development is generally limited to domestic extensions. A particular challenge to the Conservation Area is the subdivision of existing large plots or replacement of existing houses by new ones. Any such new development is required to be set well back from the street and adhere to the scale of existing development, whilst contributing to the strongly sylvan quality of the area.

What changes to the Conservation Area does GCP propose?
GCP proposes a number of boundary changes to Stapleford’s Conservation Area, deleting the following from inclusion:
• entirety of land belonging to 23 Church Street
• entirety of land belonging to 5 Finch’s Close
• entirety of land belonging to 1 and 2a Dukes Meadow, and the highway between them
• entirety of land belonging to 7, 9, 11 and 13 Gog Magog Way.

Despite the length of GCP’s draft Conservation Area appraisal, its proposed changes are mentioned only at the very end of the document and no explanation is provided for excluding the aforementioned tracts of land other than that they do not meet the criteria
for Conservation Areas set out in national legislation. Based on a map within the document, the Parish Council estimates that around 20% of Stapleford’s existing Conservation Area is earmarked for exclusion, as the figure below illustrates.

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Building owners affected by the boundary changes will be informed by GCP.

Where can I find out more and how can I comment?
The draft appraisal is open for informal comment (this is not a statutory consultation) from 18th January to 15th February 2021. All comments received will help to shape the final document which will be put forward for adoption.

GCP’s draft plan for Stapleford is available here.

The consultation itself is very straightforward to answer and is available here.

National guidance on Conservation Areas falls within the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is available here.

Historic England’s advice notice, ‘Conservation Area Appraisal, Designation and Management’, is available here.

The Countryside Code – a reminder whilst under tier 4 restrictions

There have been reports to the Parish council of increased litter and failure of dog owners to pick up after their animals around the village; this is especially prevalent in areas where people congregate, including the cemetery, the recreation ground and the jubilee pavilion, Wandlebury and Gog Magog Down.

Therefore, such that everyone can continue to enjoy their local environment whilst we are restricted to essential journeys only and encouraged to stay local for exercising, please could we be considerate and either dispose of our litter and dog waste in the appropriate receptacles or take it home to dispose of. Many thanks.

 

 

 

Cambridge Community Arts

Being creative is good for you, it will improve your mental wellbeing and your confidence. Cambridge Community Arts have year-long accredited creative courses in Visual, Digital & Performing Arts starting in September 2020.

CCA’s classes offer a non-judgemental, stimulating, and friendly environment. They are run by experienced professional artists in local community centres and have a maximum of ten people per class. Our one-year, part-time courses in partnership with Cambridge Regional College, allow you to explore your chosen art form in depth and gain an AIM Awards Level 2 Certificate in Skills for Working in the Creative & Design Industries.

Courses are open to adults 19+. Priority is given to people with health conditions. Reduced cost for those on low income or means-tested benefit.

Please visit their website or view their CCA Programme 20-21 and find more information about each course, fees and how to apply.

  Contact details: admin@camcommarts.org.uk   or  07763 280029

 

 

SPC Position Statement on Cambridge South East Transport

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) undertook the first public consultation on their proposals for a new public transport route between the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) and Granta Park in early 2018; a map of the proposed routes can be found here. This consultation presented options for one of the following:

  1. An off-road busway route;
  2. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 to the Babraham Park and Ride with a busway link into the Cambridge Biomedical Campus;
  3. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 all the way to Addenbrookes.

However:

  • The option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford was not included in the consultation. This option was screened out at an early stage on the basis that it was not feasible.
  • The report on the first consultation concluded that an almost equal number of respondents felt that the strategy would not encourage modal shift as supported the chosen route.

The GCP undertook a second public consultation on the proposals towards the end of 2019. However, this consultation was limited to the location of the Park and Ride near Granta Park and associated access-ways. As such, the GCP has not yet undertaken any public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford.

Errors / Omissions in Officer’s reports

Repeated representations over an extended period have been made to the GCP by Great Shelford and Stapleford Parish Councils expressing concerns about the lack of public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road route following the former railway line. These representations were summarised in the LLF report presented to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020: ‘the major part of the discussion was about the alternative railway alignment route…there had been no opportunity for any public consultation… challenged a number of the statements and argued that calculations were open to interpretation’.

Despite our representations, GCP officers reported to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020 that there were no outstanding consultation issues. This is factually incorrect, and may have unduly influenced the Joint Assembly in reaching their recommendations. We consider full public consultation to be of critical importance to the process, and because key aspects of the scheme have never been included for public consultation, we consider the Joint Assembly recommendations that relate to the route have not been made with full and proper access to the facts.

The alternative former railway route

Further to questions being raised by the public about the alternative route via the former railway line, the GCP commissioned consultants Mott MacDonald to make a more detailed assessment of the former railway route than had previously been undertaken at screening stage. Mott Macdonald issued the report ‘CSET Phase 2 Shelford Railway Alignment: Design Development & Feasibility Assessment’ in May 2020, two years after the first consultation. This report appeared only days before the LLF meeting of 03 June 2020, allowing little time for detailed examination.

The Mott Macdonald report concluded that the former railway alignment option is technically feasible, although this option would incur additional costs and potential loss of several additional structures along the route.  In addition, the report based its conclusions on an option that designated a short section of Chaston Road as road space to be shared with local traffic, preventing the route from being fully segregated and therefore influencing the final scores attributed in their analysis.

Moreover, the report made no analysis of:

  • The value of lost landscape and amenity, and how these costs compare against the identified additional construction costs;
  • Economic benefits to the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford, including additional employment benefits, by connecting the villages more directly into the public transport network;
  • Amenity benefits to local residents through more effective connections to local and regional community assets, services and employment sites along the former railway alignment route, including the important health care facilities at Addenbrookes;
  • Full segregation for the short section of Chaston Road that was designated for shared road use, although this was identified as feasible.

Accuracy in statistical reporting

  • The analysis of data put forward in the Mott MacDonald report depends on the underlying assumptions made and their interpretation. There are small differences in the demand estimates well within a margin of error.
  • The chosen route score is 50% more in terms of transport benefits but with a different assessment based on CAM compliance the rankings are likely to change materially.

Environmental impacts

  • Whilst the Macdonald Report (May 2020) gives a detailed assessment of the railway route, the environmental impact report for the chosen route has yet to be commissioned.
  • The busway is a 14 metre wide strip of tarmacadam skirting the Magog downland. The impact will result in the loss of unique chalk downland landscape, irreparable damage to the open countryside and loss of biodiversity. Most significantly, there will be harm to important views and the landscape setting of Cambridge.
  • The statement in support reads: ‘We would ensure it is integrated into the existing landscape as much as possible’; this is an inadequate response, and there is an acknowledgement that the planned busway stops will make a significant intrusion on the landscape.
  • It is recognised that open countryside is important to mental health as this location is key to accessibility for the general public.

Loss of greenbelt

  • The proposed route will destroy greenbelt which is designated to protect the rural setting and landscapes of the villages in South Cambridgeshire.
  • Despite assurances to the contrary the proposed busway will inevitably redefine the curtilage of these villages with potentially irresistible pressure from speculative housing developers to develop the enclosed fields in a new Local Plan.

Induced congestion

  • The scheme adds two new road crossings for the busway with resultant traffic congestion and extra pollution in the village. The proposed stations will attract intrusive and antisocial commuter parking on unsuitable country roads.

 Integrated transport plan

  • The scheme as currently conceived does not provide a transformational multi-modal transport system for the region.
  • The scheme fails to integrate with the opportunity for a grade-separated junction as envisaged by East West Rail and in the wider context to take into account a rapid transport link to Haverhill.
  • The scheme is designed for buses to run on from Cambridge Biomedical Campus into the city centre on the existing busway. Any introduction of trams at a future date would require construction of the CAM tunnels.

 Economic context

  • The scheme fails to link the commercial heart of Great Shelford and neither links Sawston and the several campus developments along the A1301 and A1307 such as Huawei, Babraham and Genome. It misses the opportunity for significant economic benefit and sustainability to our villages.
  • The stations are uphill a kilometre out of the village. Given the literally handful of houses in proximity, the claim that significant populations will make use of the route appear difficult to justify unless many houses are built, which appears to be the implication from the projections.
  • Furthermore with buses full of commuters generated by over 2,000 cars at the Park and Ride it is doubtful there will be the capacity at peak times to carry them.

 

 

GCPs Proposed Busway

Did you know that a Busway is planned to cross our beautiful countryside with construction to start in just 2 YEAR’S time?

A 14 metre wide swathe will be cut across the fields adjoining the Magog downland damaging the unique landscape and destroying the greenbelt with buses running each way every eight minutes.

ACT NOW to support the alternative route along the old Cambridge-Haverhill railway line. Email your objection to: cllr.vandeweyer@scambs.gov.ukroger.hickford@cambridgeshire.gov.uk; and lewis.herbert@cambridge.gov.uk today.

DO Not Wait – on the 25th of June the scheme moves to the next stage.

Find out more at https://www.cambridgeppf.org/south-east-cambridge-busway

Planning Application for the A1307 junction at Gog Magog

A planning application has been submitted for the construction of a new staggered junction, footway / cycleway; an at grade unsignalised crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the A1307 / Haverhill Road / Gog Farm shop junction; a new right turn filter lane and upgraded crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the Gog Farm Shop entrance, including associated engineering and landscape works.

Comments on this planning application should be submitted by 8 July 2020. Copies of all the application documentation can be viewed online at http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk by entering the relevant application reference number (CCC/20/033/FUL) and registering to submit your comments online. Alternatively, you can send an email to planningdc@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or comments can be sent in writing.

If your comment is not received by 8 July 2020 the assumption will be that you do not wish to make any comments on this application.

COVID-19 Update from Cambridgeshire County Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities urged to support NHS Test and Trace – From today people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to support a new NHS Test and Trace programme which will aim to track every single case of coronavirus in our communities to stop the infection spreading.

In a briefing last night, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urged everyone to support the programme, which aims to gradually replace the national lockdown with individual isolation for those who have been in contact with the virus and local action where it is necessary to respond to a flare up of coronavirus cases.

As we move out of the national lockdown, we are asking those who have been in contact with anyone who might have the virus to isolate themselves.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council will also be able to take robust action where a number of people have or are suspected of having caught the virus.

From now on, everyone is being asked to follow this three-step plan: 

Step 1 – If you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell – you and the people you live with must immediately self-isolate.

 Step 2 – You then must book a test on the NHS Coronavirus website and if you don’t have internet access dial 119. Do not leave home for any other reason. If you test positive, you will then be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours.

 Step 3 – If you do test positive, NHS Test and Trace will help you establish who you have been in contact with and might have infected. This could be members of your own household already isolating or someone you have been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. You will also be given clinical advice and support for dealing with the virus. NHS Test and Trace will then contact those contacts anonymously. If you are one of those contacts, you will be advised to isolate for 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you developed symptoms, you would be required to get a test.

Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Government has made it very clear that if you get symptoms you must isolate immediately and get a test. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, instructing you to isolate, you must do so.

“If the lockdown measures are to be lifted further we all need to follow these instructions to slow the spread of the virus even further, keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, along with protecting the NHS and all key workers.

“The more people who correctly use Test and Trace, the greater impact it will have on the spread of the virus and the quicker we will be able to return to seeing the people we love and doing the things we all enjoy.

“We know that people who are required to self-isolate might need help and support if they don’t have friends, family or neighbours to call upon, and we will make sure that support is available through the network of local hubs.”

A network of COVID-19 hubs is working across the county to help people who need support at this time and don’t have family, friends or neighbours they can ask for help.

People who need help whilst isolating should visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0345 045 5219.

test and trace