Villagers want 4,000 new Bourn Airfield homes to have A428 access
A parish councillor insists there must be greater transparency and a full consultation process over the failure to provide direct access onto the A428 from a planned new 4,000-home development at Bourn Airfield.
Cllr Des O’Brien, of Bourn Parish Council, told the county council’s economic and environment committee last week that they have concerns over a draft supplementary planning document for the airfield.
Cllr O’Brien says South Cambridgeshire District Council has accepted a Highways England decree that ‘technical’ issues prevent it from including vehicle access to the A428.
Cllr O’Brien said: “Bourn Parish Council will not stop making the case that all the national and local evidence clearly points to very substantial increases in traffic to and from the airfield development.
“The real world evidence we have from Cambourne for traffic volumes and trip generation is clear and unequivocal.We have conducted our own traffic counts in the absence of updated data from the statutory authorities and the developers. November 2017 figures show that 2,178 vehicles leave Cambourne in the morning peak from a development, at that time, of 4,000 houses.
“Despite the ready availability of this evidence, the developer’s planning application and the district council’s draft SPD, have failed to acknowledge the traffic levels that will be generated by the Bourn Airfield new settlement. Indeed both have sought to underestimate trip generation in their transport assessments.”
He added: “The truth is that the option for a direct access to the A428 from Bourn Airfield has not been openly discussed, or debated. There has been no consultation. It was not fully investigated at the local plan development stage and is now being off-handedly and summarily dismissed by Highways and the planning authority.”
On June 5 this year, the council embarked on a six-week consultation asking people to comment on the SPD, which includes access arrangements.
A statement subsequently published by SCDC’s planning service said: “Officers have discussed this with Highways England. The advice received was there is no strategic need for a new junction and, with the Cambridge to Oxford Expressway elevating the status of the route, there will be a presumption against such a new junction.”
SCDC’s cabinet will consider the SPD, including alterations following feedback from the consultation, on October 2. However, a new A428 junction has been deemed unnecessary and instead the focus will be on a “high quality transport link”. The council said a junction is “not seen as desirable by the council given the importance it places on environmental issues”.
More by this authorAdrian Curtis