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New school in Cambridgeshire would be ‘too close to major road’

By Josh Thomas | Local Democracy Reporter

Waterbeach Barracks site. Picture: Urban & Civic
Waterbeach Barracks site. Picture: Urban & Civic

There are “deep concerns” about the location of a new school and homes near the A10, with fears for the impact of pollution on the children and poor access off a major roundabout.

Waterbeach development
Waterbeach development

Plans for a new community on the site of Waterbeach barracks and airfield were discussed at Cambridgeshire County Council’s economy and environment committee on July 12.

The proposals include an initial phase of 1,600 units. No future phases could be developed beyond 1,600 units without agreement of further mitigation measures to ensure there is suitable transport infrastructure in place.

The committee heard measures had been taken to make the application more acceptable, but concerns were raised about transport and the proposed location of a new school on the site, with some saying it was too close to the busy A10.

Cllr Noel Kavanagh said: “Parents don’t want new schools being built near roads or polluted areas. Will the school be well away from the A10? I would welcome an entirely new location so children going to this school won’t be subject to this pollution.”

Plans for the Urban and Civic Waterbeach development
Plans for the Urban and Civic Waterbeach development

Cllr John Williams: “I am deeply concerned. I fear we still don’t know what the mayor’s mass transit plans are going to be. By the time this development happens, we may be in a completely different situation.”

Juliet Richardson, business manager for growth and development, said the new school would be close to a roundabout on the A10. She admitted this had initially been a concern, but assured the committee the site would be suitable for access, and would not expose children to high levels of pollution.

She said: “The primary school is proposed to be off the business park roundabout. When we saw the location, we thought we would need to do some investigation to see if it would work for access, but also looking at pollution, noise, and daylight standards.

“Our consultants are satisfied it is within the guidelines. I can give our assurance that both the council and our consultants have worked to make sure we are within pollution and noise levels.”

The committee accepted the measures taken to make the application more acceptable – and the plans will now go forward to South Cambridgeshire District Council. Cllr Tim Wotherspoon said he would speak to the council on behalf of the committee about the plans.


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