Cambourne becomes a town comprised of villages
Twenty years on from the first resident moving in, Cambourne has become a town, comprised of several villages.
Cambourne Parish Council voted at its March meeting to become Cambourne Town Council, reflecting the growth of the community.
It currently has 4,318 homes, with more than 11,920 residents. When building work is complete, including at the new West Cambourne development, it is due to have 7,120 homes - approximately 19,650 residents.
The current and projected numbers put Cambourne in the small town category as determined by a 2018 briefing paper from the House of Commons library on city and town classification, which was prepared to ensure similar sized communities could be compared. It described small towns as settlements with a population of between 7,500 and 24,999, such as Falmouth, New Romney and Holbeach.
Moving to town status will have no cost implications for residents or increased responsibilities for councillors, but it is hoped it could have economic benefits.
A parish council statement suggested it would “strengthen Cambourne’s identity and give an overall community identity linking the four villages” of Great Cambourne, Lower Cambourne, Upper Cambourne and West Cambourne, where construction work is expected to begin later this year or early next year.
Cllr Joe O’Dwyer, chairman of the council, said: “Nearly all professionals that come to Cambourne to give presentations see Cambourne as a town. Part of the problem in marketing Cambourne is that some larger companies won’t go into villages.”
Town clerk John Vickery told the Cambridge Independent that the council felt it was important to maintain the identity of the constituent villages.
"Cambourne has been known as a settlement of three villages. Now it will be a town of four villages, with West Cambourne," he said.
The council believes the move will assist in encouraging shops to the High Street and bringing new businesses and jobs to Cambourne Business Park, which will aid the sustainability of the community.
The town council is notifying South Cambridgeshire District Council of the decision, which takes effect immediately.