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Urban country park and commercial space plan for east Cambridge lakes unveiled



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Detailed plans have been submitted to open up the “east Cambridge lakes” to the public as a new urban country park.

A commercial space and last-mile logistics hub would be created on an adjacent parcel of land, just south of Coldham’s Lane, under the proposals.

An aerial view of Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods
An aerial view of Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods

They have been in making for years and now Anderson Group has submitted a planning application to the Greater Cambridge Planning Service.

Currently not open to the public, although used by an anglers club, the area would be named Burnside Lakes.

Opened up to public access, the site could include recreational areas such as a cafe, picnic area and bird hide.

An artist's impression of the commercial area at Cambridge Lakes, showing the cycle route through the site. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods.
An artist's impression of the commercial area at Cambridge Lakes, showing the cycle route through the site. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods.

The application describes the lakes as an “oasis” and says the area will also be enhanced for wildlife.

The planning application is made up of three parts:

  • Parcel A: outline planning application for commercial development and “last-mile logistics hub” .
  • Parcel B: full planning application for green space site between the lakes and Coldhams Lane - for “ecological enhancements” only
  • Parcel C: full planning application for the lakes area as an “urban country park” - for landscaping, “ecological enhancements” and public access for recreation.
An artist's impression of the commercial area at Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods. (47966621)
An artist's impression of the commercial area at Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods. (47966621)

The three sites are owned by the applicant, with the exception of part of the lakes area, where some of the land is also owned by Cambridge City Council and Peterhouse, the University of Cambridge college.

Access to the lakes would be via new pedestrian and cycle links off the Tins, and the existing car park would be retained.

The application says the lakes in the former quarry pits are fed by groundwater.

The commercial development and logistics hub would be a “potentially important piece of infrastructure for the future in Cambridge which can work with the emerging patterns of goods movement into the city”, the plans suggest.

In June last year Cambridgeshire police issued a dispersal order for the lakes area after people were found to be visiting the area amid good weather.

An aerial view of Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods/Google Maps
An aerial view of Cambridge Lakes. Picture: Anderson Group/Chetwoods/Google Maps

The three landowners put out a joint statement reiterating it is let to an anglers club and for their use only, saying the order was “to stop groups gathering during the pandemic and to discourage dangerous swimming in the lakes”.

Sustainable development campaign group Fews Lane Consortium reacted to the plans by calling for an ecological assessment and biodiversity data for the designated city wildlife site.

No date has yet been set to decide the application.

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