Campaign to save the Cambridge Green Belt website

The campaign to save the Cambridge Green Belt now has a website at http://www.greenbeltsos.org.uk which includes a link to a petition on the subject at Change.org. I’d urge all concerned residents to sign this. The petition says:

“We, the undersigned, call On Cambridge City and South Cambs Councils to withdraw all sites in the Green Belt proposed for development in the draft Local Plan.

* We oppose further destruction of the Green Belt. There are no exceptional circumstances that justify it.

* We oppose urban sprawl that will destroy the historic, compact character of Cambridge, its surrounding villages and countryside and will further add to traffic congestion.

* The Councils’ plans are based on out-of-date growth forecasts and first consideration should be given to greater re-use of existing sites (including brownfield) not in the Green Belt.”

It is addressed to Councillor Tim Bick, the leader of Cambridge City Council. In a recent Cambridge News article (below, click to enlarge) which mentioned the launch of the website, Cllr. Tim Ward, the Executive Councillor for Planning, seemed very dismissive of residents’ concerns, which has characterised the council’s attitude from the start. However, the residents behind “Save The Cambridge Greenbelt” are soldiering on, with a huge amount of local support behind them.

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Letters to the local newspapers such as those below are also keeping the pressure on; as voters, we of course hold the ultimate sanction against councillors, as the letters point out (click to read in full):

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In the meantime, visit http://www.greenbeltsos.org.uk and add your name to the petition if you agree.

4 Replies to “Campaign to save the Cambridge Green Belt website”

  1. The problem is that this campaign is based upon some pretty dubious statements. For example, the ‘Save the Greenbelt Campaign’ claims that the council hasn’t properly examined all potential brownfield and infill sites that could be used to fulfill our objectively assessed housing need. That is simply a lie. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment went over, with a fine toothcomb, every inch of brownfield (and every other type of) land in the City and assessed its likely development potential. Every possible infill and brownfield site has been included in the plan – in fact, if anything, the assessment is optimistic. In addition, the ‘Save the Greenbelt’ tag is ridiculously hyperbolic. The proposals in the local plan amount to less than 2% of the Greenbelt. In reality, in the past, every site on which there is currently housing was once open fields, and was once doubtlessly opposed by their contemporary generation’s nimbies, including the current houses on Wort’s Causeway. If they hadn’t been built, where would the current generation of comfortable, middle class families be living? If every generation had the same nimby attitude – i.e., all development is bad once I have somewhere to live – then most of us would be living in holes in the ground.

    1. Perhaps Councillor Owers is unaware that Cambridge is the only community in East Anglia with a designated green belt. The reason is pretty obvious. At some time in the 1950s it was thought necessary to prevent Cambridge becoming an urban sprawl. The ‘Save the Green Belt Campaign’ is fighting on behalf of all the inhabitants of Cambridge, not just those around Worts’ Causeway. If the centre of Cambridge is increasingly starting to look like Croydon, we don’t want the outskirts to be.

    2. George Owers is listed on the (CC) Council’s website as residing at Jesus College as a student. He must be well into his late twenties now and it’s about time he grew up and got a proper job before spouting off a load of rubbish trying to link saving of the green belt with some sort of class war issue. BTW, I am not a NIMBY George – I don’t live on Worts Causeway; I live in the urban sprawl that is Cambridge.
      George made the local headlines recently (Cambridge News, July 2013) and was quoted as saying “I would like to see more efforts being made to engage the many members of the student body who show such little interest in the town they live in and live in a privileged silo for a few years without going beyond the three wards of the city they live in”. Why don’t you just do that George, and knock on a few doors and talk to those people that according to your own words live “in the wilds of Borneo”.
      I am not sure who George believes will be the beneficiaries of building on the Green Belt. George’s views do not appear to sit comfortably with the hard nosed capitalist property developers that will ultimately gain from such developments.
      And by the way George, when I look back at better times when Cambridge had a decent hardworking Labour MP, every time you open your mouth it must be great news for Julian Huppert and his supporters.
      Please Sue Birtles – keep supporting this worthwhile campaign, and thank you for your continued support.

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