News and Updates
A number of you have been in touch for information on where each of the parliamentary candidates for the South Cambridgeshire constituency stand in relation to the proposed developments at Bourn Airfield and West Cambourne. Accordingly, we have been in touch with each of the five candidates and asked them for a statement. To date responses are as follows:
Heidi Allen - Conservative
...had I been around the table when sites for inclusion in the local plan were decided, I would have wanted us to look harder for alternative locations. As it stands, we risk having absolutely no separation between villages as we head West. The plan, you will be aware is now with the Inspector for consideration, so I am not in a position to influence the historical choices. I see there are two opportunities where I could influence going forward, subject to being successfully elected in May.
1. If the plan is accepted, I will demand we focus our attentions on a better road, facility and public transport strategy such that the development has a hope of working, being sustainable and not adding to the problems we already face in the region.
2. If these sites are rejected in the plan, then I will actively engage with local authorities and the public to see where better sites may exist.
Sebastian Kindersley - Liberal Democrat
I am profoundly against building a single home on Bourn Airfield. Already the new homes in Cambourne are lapping at Bourn near the Broadway and any further development along the A428 will simply create a giant sprawling village from Caxton Gibbet to Hardwick – this is not the way to do things – unplanned, unsustainable, unwanted and unwelcome.
Moreover, it beggars belief to think that 3500 houses plus all the community facilities to support it can be squeezed into the area being proposed – like trying to squeeze in Cambourne into an area half its size!
We now only have a limited amount of developer contributions to look forward to at any new site. That money needs to be used to its maximum effect. Building a series of unsustainable settlements along the A428 (and indeed the A10) spreads that developer contribution so thinly that we will only be building dormitories with few facilities and poor infrastructure, unpopular with house-buyers and local people alike.
The impact of Cambourne on the Bourn Valley has seen an increase in flooding over the years. This is likely to get worse if Bourn Airfield is built on. Where will the water go?
I would be the first to say that we desperately need homes, especially affordable ones. It would be far more sensible to put the houses needed at Northstowe where we really can make the developer contributions (which fund schools, roads, community centres, libraries, street lights, medical facilities, allotments to name but a few) go so much further to deliver a sustainable community which we can all be proud of and where people will want to live.
People who live in Cambourne already travel out of there in all directions to work and that is what is likely to happen with any new development at Bourn Airfield. Transport and the implications of thousands more houses along the A428 (not just in South Cambs but Hunts as well) makes me shudder. There is no practicable or sensible plan for resolving the issue of congestion that occurs every day on Madingley Rise - let alone in the future. An opportunity was missed when the A14 upgrade at Girton Interchange did not include the much called for and needed link onto the M11 from the A428.
At Northstowe, by contrast, there is already a high quality public transport linking Cambridge and Huntingdon actually up and running with scope for increased capacity, whilst the A14 upgrade will provide additional road capacity.
We are assured the City Deal will solve all the transport problems. It might – but at the moment that risk is far too great and the decisions taken so far inspire little confidence. So my position is simple - NO to Bourn Airfield and Yes to StopBAD. Best of luck!
Dan Greef - Labour- has acknowledged our request for a statement and we are waiting to hear further.
Neither Marion Mason (UKIP) or Simon Saggers (Green Party) have replied to our communication.
A personal message from our Chairman, Des O'Brien:
The whole of South Cambridgeshire faces enormous challenges: one of these challenges is managing the changes that come with economic growth so that the uniqueness of the area isn't squandered. It’s vital that sustainable and sensible plans are in place with respect to planning, transport and education as well as medical and social services provision. I believe that council representatives have lost touch with the people they are elected to represent and that they have begun to make decisions without fully engaging with the people who elected them. More than ever before, our elected representatives need to be people who understand the issues and can get things done.
Since learning of the District Council’s plans to site 5000 new houses in Bourn Ward, I have led the StopBAD campaign to demonstrate that Bourn Airfield development and West Cambourne are unsustainable because too little consideration had been given to the impact these new developments will have on traffic congestion. The major employment centres lie elsewhere in the county and the vast majority of people will be forced to drive to work. I have worked tirelessly to understand why these decisions were made and why the Council failed to fully engage with local people, or to take their views into consideration.
I have chosen to stand as the Conservative candidate for the Bourn Ward in the May election for 2 reasons. Firstly, I was courted and asked to stand by the Conservative leadership who are looking for capable, strong-minded and committed councillors to help improve the quality of local government and, secondly, because I believe that being inside the Council gives the StopBAD campaign a greater chance for success. I have learned a great deal over the last 2 years of the campaign and intend to be an active councillor who’ll continue to fight hard on behalf of all the people of Bourn Ward.
A vote for Des means a vote for active representation.
Vote for Des on May 7th