New town proposals for Waterbeach have a Riviera look about them as planners approve 6,500 homes, shops, schools and hotel on 700 acre site
PUBLISHED: 11:35 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 21 May 2019
A new town with 6,500 homes just 10 miles from Ely is to be created on the 700 acre site of a former airfield and military barracks at Waterbeach.
Approval for Waterbeach New Town got the green light from South Cambridgeshire District Council with the promise of nearly 2,000 affordable homes and with half the site given over to open space and recreational uses.
The development includes new shops and schools and a new accesses from the A10 and the promise of "a substantial level" of up to 1,000 construction jobs and a further 6,000 employed on or adjoining the site in business, retail, community, leisure and sports uses.
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The site area is immediately north of Waterbeach village and was once home to the RAF who built an airfield there in 1940. The barracks were added from 1996 onwards when the airfield was transferred to the army. It became home to 39 Engineer Regiment and later 25 Engineer Regiment - both part of 12 (Air Support) Engineer Group.
"Overall, the proposed development would bring significant public benefits that accord with the three strands of sustainable development," concluded an officers' report to the planning committee.
Waterbeach parish council told the committee that it felt the impact of the development on the village and neighbouring area was "unacceptable" and argued against the density of housing that included up to eight storey blocks of apartments.
They also expressed concern over "lack of transparency" in S106 agreements (community benefits), odours from the Amey waste plant, infrastructure and especially transport.