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Stay away from Cambridge's Burnside lakes, warns developer

Plans to create Cambridge’s newest nature reserve and country park are likely to take a step forward by the end of the year, but until the scheme is completed the message is: ‘stay away from the lakes’.

Tom Pike, planning manager for Anderson Group walking around the proposed delevopment areas of the lakes off Burnside in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8272788)
Tom Pike, planning manager for Anderson Group walking around the proposed delevopment areas of the lakes off Burnside in Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8272788)

The urban nature reserve is proposed for the former quarry works off Coldhams Lane, opening up the land around two lakes for cyclists and walkers.

The area has already been renamed Burnside Lakes by developers, the Anderson Group, which owns the majority of the site – the city council is also an owner. The group is proposing to fund the conversion by developing nearby land, north of the railway line.

In a briefing note to Cambridge City Council’s south area committee, which meets on Monday (April 8), Christian Criscione, on behalf of the Anderson Group, said the firm was looking to submit a planning application in the third quarter of this year.

He, however, also revealed that the lakes site is still being plagued by anti-social behaviour and trespassers who are putting their safety at risk.

He said: “The Anderson Group has been working hard to prepare the site for the summer, where anti-social behaviour, trespassing and unauthorised visitor congestion is historically most prevalent.

“Our managing agent continues to visit the site each week, picking up litter, replacing stolen or displaced life buoys and repairing any damage to the perimeter fence.

“We have also installed ‘Private – Keep Out’ signs along the areas most open to trespass.

“The agents will attend site more frequently in the summer months, and even more so during the school holidays. This will extend to four times per week and a ‘repair on sight’ strategy to prevent any delay in securing the site, which still remains unsuitable and dangerous to the public.”

Mr Criscione added that the Anderson Group, after advice from specialists in the management and maintenance of public spaces, sees development of nearby land as the only way providing for the long-term future of the lakes. This would help reduce anti-social behaviour, provide infrastructure and fund the upkeep, he said.

As well as opening up areas around the lakes in the southern part of the site, there are ambitions to convert some of the northern section into a country park. That part of the quarry site was used for landfill.


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