Building on the Green Belt at Wort’s Causeway

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The local councils are constantly searching for acceptable new development land for both housing and business, in order to meet the agreed expansion plans for the city. However, in the Inner Green Belt Boundary Review 2012 it was concluded that “the significant majority of the remaining Green Belt close to Cambridge is fundamentally important to the purpose of the Cambridge Green Belt and should not be developed. This is considered to be the tipping point, at which if you extend beyond this point for development, the Green Belt purposes and setting of the city are compromised. Any further significant development on the inner edge of the Green Belt would have significant implications for Green Belt purposes and fundamentally change Cambridge as a place.”

That said, the review has still identified six sites around the city which it feels could be released from the Green Belt, four for housing and two for employment. The two largest areas earmarked as having potential for housing are both within Queen Edith’s ward, either side of Wort’s Causeway (GB1 and GB2 below):

Cambridge Green Belt

The total number of houses which the Wort’s Causeway areas are thought to be capable of sustaining is nearly 500. For those of you who can’t picture the area under consideration, Wort’s Causeway is the road forking off to the left as you head out of the city past Addenbrooke’s. It’s a narrow road which I would have thought would need redevelopment to cope with the traffic from 500 houses, and all the traffic (except that turning south on the Haverhill Road) would then need to go to the Addenbrooke’s roundabout to get anywhere. Anything coming into the city would do so via Hills Road. Here’s the Google Street View image of Wort’s Causeway, with the areas under consideration being to the left and right ahead:

Worts Causeway

Understandably, many local residents are extremely unhappy with the proposal, which would have significant impact on a very local level, but would contribute little to the overall city development strategy. This requires tens of thousands of new houses and is dependent on completely new settlements at Waterbeach, Bourn Airfield and Northstowe. The leaflet below, for example, has just been delivered locally to other residents (click to enlarge):

Green-Belt-small

The consultation period on the proposals is now open, and runs until 18 February 2013. If you’re at all concerned about the developments, or have any comments to make, there are two ways to do this. The first is to attend one of the planning exhibitions, and the other is to comment on the council website. Here are the details.

Planning Exhibitions

There are two of these, the first being at The Guildhall in the city, between 2.30pm and 7.20pm on Monday 21 January. The second is more local, at the Netherhall School Atrium from 12noon to 4.00pm on Saturday 26 January.

Council Website

The background to the plans is on the planning policy section of the city council website here. There’s a lot to browse through, but you don’t need to sign in or do anything awkward just to read it. If you’d like to make comments, you will need to sign in (but if you’ve not done so before, registering is quite quick and fairly painless). If you have general comments on the plans to release Green Belt land, head for Chapter 9 and click on the pencil next to Question 2. If you have comments specifically on the Wort’s Causeway developments, scroll down to the green panels “Site Option GB1: Land North of Worts’ Causeway” or “Site Option GB2: Land South of Worts’ Causeway” and click on the pencil there. To see the comments which have already been made regarding those developments, click on the magnifying glass.

If this is your first visit here, please consider joining our free mailing list, which aims to keep residents up-to-date with planning developments and other issues in the area, via very occasional emails. Sign up here.

3 Replies to “Building on the Green Belt at Wort’s Causeway”

  1. Strongly oppose any building in the Green Belt. Nearly every entry to Cambridge has been ruined by urban development worthy of an industrial city. The only unspoilt entries are Barton Road, Grantchester Road and the Babraham /Wort’s Causeway. Scenically with the hanger Beechwoods above, it would be complete and crass irresponsibility on the part of the planners to let any development go ahead.

  2. I agree with Rosemary. I strongly oppose any building in the Green Belt. What is more, Addenbrookes has been extended in Green Belt areas already and it goes without saying, the developments being built in Chalk Farm and neighbourhoods. At this rate we will be surrounded by cement with no greenery to be seen. Something else that seems not to be considered is the traffic that all this will be generating.

  3. I really have to send my best wishes to all those along Wort’s Causeway as my family and I lived there from August 1987 until last year, August 2012. I am shocked that the green belt is under threat for this area and hope that they have a successful campaign to stop this development going a head as it will spoil one of the best views in Cambridge City’s Countryside. It was supposedly protected from such ridiculous schemes such as that proposed and the City Council should be ashamed of going back on their promise several years ago to not allow any building from those houses already built! The Councillors should remember that if they want people to vote for them then they should think again because come the next elections then the vote may deservedly go against them and see the opposition get in!

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