Burnside Lakes and last-mile delivery depot scheme in Cambridge is withdrawn - for now
Campaigners against a last-mile delivery depot in Cambridge have welcomed the temporary withdrawal of the proposal, but remain unconvinced that any significant changes will be made by the developer.
The proposals for the Burnside Lakes site on Coldhams Lane, which would see access to paths around a flooded former quarry opened to the public – as well as a commercial depot with several large warehouses – have been withdrawn by developer Anderson after more than 500 objections from residents.
Fears raised included homes being overshadowed by 17-metre high warehouses, traffic caused by 24-hour HGV access to the site, which was earmarked as a possible last-mile delivery depot, and the danger to the public from the ‘lakes’.
Now the developer is considering modifying the plans in order to address some of the objections.
Salim Seedat, who lives close to the site, said: “Their current application does not address objections that have been raised related to the future management or the health and safety issues of what are essentially dangerous quarries, not lakes.”
He added that the commercial part of the site would be better suited to low rise buildings for start-ups, research and development or builder’s merchants. He argued plans for vast warehouses were not “compatible” with the Local Plan.
“We will wait to see what they actually submit. This time the residents will be more prepared and object if we find that Anderson has still not listened to us,” he added.
“In a rapidly expanding residential area such as this, especially when hundreds of houses are planned to be built nearby across Coldhams Lane on the airport land, we should be preserving and cherishing our green spaces such as this instead of building an inappropriate logistics hub in the middle.
“Even if this site was just left alone it would recover quickly . In February 2019, Cambridge City Council declared a ‘climate emergency’ and in May 2019 it declared a ‘biodiversity emergency’, so if that is the case then we should not miss this rare opportunity to do something special to enhance and maintain biodiversity at this site.”
Anderson had submitted plans for a commercial site with warehouses and lorry access that could act as a last-mile delivery hub in the city. Alongside that, it was offering to open an urban park with pathways around lakes to be created from flooded former quarries.
However, following the hundreds of objections it is now aiming to resubmit new plans “later this year”.
Spokesperson Tim Chilvers said: “Our focus is coming forward with the correct and most appropriate scheme. And part of that is ensuring that we take full account of all the comments from residents and from statutory consultees as well. We’re confident that it was in accordance with the Local Plan and was a very credible and strong, and defensible scheme, but equally we were keen to take forward a scheme that is acceptable to the local community as well. Because these are our immediate neighbours, and we really want to make sure that they’re generally happy with it.”
The developer is now looking at the height of the warehouses and the possibility of moving some of them back from boundaries with nearby homes.
Mr Chilvers added: “The main concern is the scale and proximity of built form, which we’re absolutely looking to address, and also the amount of HGV traffic, which again, we are really committed to addressing.”
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