The local campaign to “Save the Green Belt” and specifically to object to housing development on Wort’s Causeway is gathering momentum. A meeting of many of those concerned was held on 30 January, and I’ve paraphrased the minutes here for the benefit of anyone who couldn’t attend or who would still like to get involved.
The campaign is non-political and is focused on the preservation of the Green Belt areas around Cambridge as public amenities to be enjoyed by all in the city. Following an initial distribution of 100 home-printed leaflets, the campaign has swiftly snowballed, with the printing of 5000 leaflets and 200 A2 posters, nearly all of which have now been distributed. Applications to the Peterborough Land Registry Office have revealed three different owners of the land pertaining to the land designated GB1, most of which is owned by G & T (Cambridge) Ltd, a subsidiary of ‘The Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity And Other Related Charities’ with two local residents also owning some of the land within the Netherhall Farm area. Peterhouse College holds a right of pre-emption on the land owned (de facto) by the charity. The land designated GB2 is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council and by Peter Wombwell of Newbury Farm who has a lease from the County Council due to run to 2025.
On the question of access to GB1, people present had been told different stories by different Council representatives, including a new road that would cut across Wort’s Causeway from the Babraham Road and link together GB1 and GB2; that access would be gained via Almoner’s Avenue; and that there might be a footpath running round the rest of the field from GB1 to Netherhall School. Clearly GB1/GB2 development would severely disrupt the rapid transit of buses and create dangers for cyclists on the narrow Causeway. There was discussion also on the question of ambulance transit times.
Residents have agreed to approach local councillors, as well as the local MP, Andrew Lansley. And the intriguing option was floated of considering setting up a Trust to protect areas of countryside in the vicinity, similar to The Magog Trust?
For now, the important thing to do, for anyone concerned about the development, is to register comments on the council website. Details on how to do this are covered here.