East Cambs lodges holding objection to Waterbeach new town after fears not enough thought has been given to road and rail users
PUBLISHED: 15:51 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:51 28 August 2018
East Cambs councillors fear not enough thought has gone into the impact for road and rail travellers from Ely and Soham by developers planning the first 4,500 homes for Waterbeach new town.
Rush hour could take on a new dimension unless more thought is put into transport, says East Cambridgeshire District Council.
The greatest change is likely on the morning rush on the A10 with the district council fearful of the impact on a road “that was already known to have a significant traffic problem. This would most likely have a detrimental effect on residents in east Cambridgeshire who would either be further delayed in getting to work or have to find alternative options”.
Senior planning officer Andrew Phillips will lead the East Cambs planning committee’s response and that is to lend support in principle but lodge a holding objection in regards to transport.
East Cambs Council wants an environmental impact study to be carried out “to consider the impacts of the growth proposed in Soham and the impact of Soham railway station” on the Waterbeach proposals.
The council also believes it should look too at the major growth in general planned for East Cambridgeshire such as 3,000 new homes in North Ely and major housing proposed for Littleport.
These will all mean more people than ever heading into Cambridge daily and they feel the Waterbeach developers have submitted the application “prematurely and without the proper consideration of the wider transport implications”.
Of projected traffic flow onto the A10, Mr Phillips says the developer has under estimated the impact of even a five per cent increase which the plans suggest.
The application “has not adequately demonstrated that such impact is not significant” he says.
East Cambs councillors also want to know about the rail station relocation at Waterbeach, if there will be park and ride into Cambridge and the impact it could all have on villages such as Swaffham Prior, Swaffham Bulbeck and Lode.
“It is accepted that a new train station in Waterbeach, which is able to cater for a greater capacity of trains, is a benefit of the proposal,” says Mr Phillips.
But concerns are raised that the developer is “relying too heavily on its attraction to road users heading southwards along the A10. It is accepted that this will substantially deter people from Waterbeach from driving into Cambridge”.
Waterbeach will get new shops, new schools and new leisure facilities if their proposals win approval.