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‘No evidence’ revised plan for Burnside Lakes in Cambridge addresses concerns

Plans for land south of Coldhams Lane in Cambridge have been resubmitted but objectors say there is “no evidence” their concerns have been addressed.

Residents against Urban Park plans on Cherry Hinton lakes / chalk pits. Picture: David Johnson .. (53958998)
Residents against Urban Park plans on Cherry Hinton lakes / chalk pits. Picture: David Johnson .. (53958998)

Developers Anderson Group have submitted revised proposals for the Burnside Lakes site to Cambridge City Council.

The developer withdrew a planning application in September, which would have seen access to paths around a flooded former quarry opened to the public as well as a commercial depot with several large warehouses, after receiving more than 500 objections from residents.

Fears raised included homes being overshadowed by 17-metre high warehouses and traffic caused by 24-hour HGV access to the site, which was earmarked as a possible last-mile delivery depot.

Tom Chilvers, land and planning manager at Anderson Group, said in a letter to residents that the revised application has been amended to respond directly to the “nature and form of development” on the site.

He continued: “The proposals now envisage a more balanced mix of commercial uses. This includes a restriction to offices or research and development space on the more sensitive areas of land to the south of the Tins and adjacent to the neighbourhoods of Wolsey Way, Iver Close and Orchard Estate, combined with a general lowering of the potential heights of these buildings.”

The area is designated as an ‘Area of Major Change’ in the current Cambridge Local Plan. But residents say they hoped the developer would “take the time” to address their 500 concerns.

Teacher and resident Asnat Doza said on behalf of her neighbours: “They bring no evidence that they have actually done that. The timing is horrendous with Christmas and Omicron. We have six weeks to scrutinise 225 pages. They have not addressed any of the comments which we have put forward. I think people are extremely frustrated, some insulted, and very angry with the timing.”

Burnside Lakes in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Burnside Lakes in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

She said residents would be calling for the February 1 deadline for comments to be extended.

Fellow resident Salim Seedat echoed her comments: “Yet again they have given us far too short a time to comment.”

The letter, which says the council has agreed for a longer consultation period due to the festive break, says the new revised mix of commercial units would mean “much less storage and distribution” which would result in “a significant downward effect on possible heavy goods vehicle movements”.

Mr Chivers writes: “We have gone even further to proffer off-site highways improvements that allow for the effective and proactive routing of larger vehicles away from Cherry Hinton. In addition, the new proposals allow us to minimise almost entirely the areas across Parcel A where ground excavation is required.

“This means that historical landfill waste will no longer need to be exposed and the groundworks operations can instead work from existing levels and import clean material to form an engineered ‘cap’.

“The proposals for opening Cherry Hinton Lakes remain largely unchanged, although as requested by a number of consultees we are providing more information on how this area would be managed and maintained for the long term.”

The developer had said when it withdrew the application that it would come back with revised proposals later in the year.

View the application on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning website here.

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