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Next steps for north east fringe development on Cambridge water works site

A scheme to create a new city district to the site of a sewage works in Cambridge could soon take a step forward as leaders await the results of a funding bid.

The north east fringe development could see the area around the new Cambridge north railway station rejuvenated, with thousands of new homes and businesses moving to land currently occupied by a water treatment centre.

North east fringe development site (6319611)
North east fringe development site (6319611)

The plan has the potential to deliver up to 7,600 new homes and more than 7,000 new jobs in north east Cambridge.

Now residents could be consulted further on the plans as it emerges the project could be even bigger if funding to relocate the sewage works is granted.

On January 9, South Cambridgeshire District Council is recommended to approve the Cambridge Northern Fringe Issues and Options 2 for Regulation 18 public consultation.

According to a report set to go before the cabinet: “The Cambridge Northern Fringe represents a major brownfield development opportunity which can make a significant contribution to the future development needs of the Greater Cambridge area.

“Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have committed to producing a joint Area Action Plan in their respective Local Plans 2018, and in their recently adopted Local Development Schemes (LDS).

“The Issues and Options 2 consultation represents the next stage in preparation of the plan.

“The draft report responds to the changing circumstances in the area, in particular the Housing Infrastructure Bid and the opportunities it could provide for the relocation of the Water Recycling Centre, and the Ely to Cambridge Transport Study’s evidence of the need to seek a more balanced mix of uses, and focus on transport means other than the car.”

In July 2017, the government announced a new funding initiative – the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) – which funds the unlocking of challenging sites for the delivery of significant housing.

In September 2017, Cambridge City Council and Anglian Water submitted a bid to cover the cost of relocating the water treatment centre on the site.

The government announced in March 2018 that the bid had been shortlisted and was advancing to the detailed business case stage.

A formal announcement on the HIF is due in early 2019 and will inform future stages in the preparation of the AAP.

According to the report: “It is now proposed to carry out an Issues and Options 2 consultation, which provides a revised vision for the site, reflecting the more comprehensive regeneration that could be achieved if the HIF bid is successful and the Water Recycling Centre is relocated off site.”

It is proposed to carry out consultation on Issues and Options 2 for six weeks. It is suggested the consultation begins on February 4 and runs until 18 March.

The report says plans for the area would need to “minimise car use to the site”, and encourage non-car modes including walking, cycling, bus and rail use.

The report says: “This suggests it will be important to review the policies in the Local Plans which are for employment led development with supporting uses including residential, and consider whether a more balanced development is now appropriate, and if so what the balance should be.”

The Area Action Plan is being produced jointly with Cambridge City Council. It will also be considered by the Cambridge Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee on January 15.

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