Developers targeting Worts’ Causeway. Have your say.

14-worts-causeway

The small, single storey house above is 14 Worts’ Causeway, on the very edge of the city, at the southern boundary of our ward. It has been bought by a local property developer and plans submitted to replace it with two four-bedroomed, three-storey houses. You will doubtless have your own views as to whether or not this is a good thing, but whatever they are, I would encourage you to let the council planning officer know. It’s important to demonstrate that as local residents, we care about what’s going on. Below is how to do so, and why you need to do it today.

And why should we care about this small development?

I’ll hand you over here to local resident Jeremy Jones, who says this: “Any intensification in this area which goes unchallenged is likely to be used by the council as tacit acceptance of an increase in the area’s density, a factor which would be very important for us all if the Green Belt sites are approved for inclusion in the Local Plan. We need to voice our concerns about any inappropriate increase in density (as with this site) to protect the greater local area. The good news is that the local Council Planning department is very interested in the opinions of local residents on submitted planning applications and, unlike our Green Belt fight, your comments can actually have a significant impact upon the outcome of its deliberations.”

In other words, what’s being deemed as acceptable now could be scaled up significantly in the future.

The official application is at the council’s development website here.

Note that if 25 objections are received, this should be sufficient to trigger a Development Control Forum hearing where concerns could be voiced directly to the Planning Committee. Critically, the deadline for comments is NOW: Friday, 19th June. I apologise for not being aware of this sooner.

If you wish to submit an objection, you only need to outline why. Here are some suggestions:
Overdevelopment – The attempt to squeeze two detached homes onto this plot constitutes overdevelopment;
Inappropriate design – Design should take into account the views of local communities, and local residents are expressing their disapproval;
Unacceptable impact on privacy – The neighbouring property at 15 Alwyne Road will be overlooked by a total of four first floor bedrooms and both ground floor family areas;
Unacceptable environmental impact – The mature hedging and fencing that has characterised this plot needs to be protected.

If you wish to express your approval of the plans, I can’t really help, because I can’t see any redeeming features of the application. But do say what you think.

How to comment

The easiest way is to email the the Council Planning Officer, Mr Amit Patel (Amit.Patel@cambridge.gov.uk). However, if you’re registered at the council’s development website, you could submit your comments directly. The application can be found here or go to the home page here and search for 15/0908/FUL. Click “Comments” and you can sign in.

My View

Having looked at the plans, they’re skeletal at best, and according to local residents, quite inaccurate. Where are the before-and-after photorealistic representations of what the buildings will look like from next door? These should be mandatory. In 2015, they’re easy to create, and the reason they’re missing is because they’ll show up the proposed development for the imposing eyesore which it appears to be.

This looks like yet another attempt to make as much money as possible from a plot, with no thought whatsoever being given to the locality, the neighbours or the social impact. It’s all about the profit. Would the developers want something like this built next door to their houses? Of course not. There are good people at the council who want to stand up to this sort of overdevelopment but they need public support, or the developers will just keep coming back. And next time, it could be in your road, and it might be the residents of Worts’ Causeway who you’re hoping will rally to your aid.

14-worts-causeway-aerial-view

5 Replies to “Developers targeting Worts’ Causeway. Have your say.”

  1. I haven’t seen the actual designs but architectural merit is one thing and the principle of development is another.This is economics doing it’s thing, pure and simple. Call it capitalism if you like. Whether we like it or not we are living right next to one of the THE biggest growth spots in the UK– Addenbrookes Hopsital –on the edge of one of the fastest growing cities. We are going to see a lot more of this and we need to get used to it because it is very hard to resist…and as Cambridge residents we can’t get all the benefits of living in a prosperous city without putting up with some of the disadvantages.

  2. I agree that “we can’t get all the benefits of living in a prosperous city without putting up with some of the disadvantages”, Jeremy. But the advantages and disadvantages need to be shared by all. In cases like this, the disadvantages are being lumped on a tiny group of people (the immediate neighbours), and that’s unfair. Economics can do its thing, but we can shape how it does it.

  3. If you take a look at the ugly duckling (which I doubt will ever turn into a swan) rising on the Babraham Road and note how it towers above the neighbouring houses and jars in design from all the 1920s houses at that end of the road, you may realise how awful the greedy proposal for the small site at 14 Worts’ Causeway is. At 4a Babraham Road there used to be a humble dwelling, with a beautiful garden. It was not breathtaking in design but neither was it intrusive.

    I am afraid that pure financial greed drives builders to squeeze every drop of cash from a site, however small. Take a look at the drawings of these proposed dwellings – they might look at home in Romsey Town but not out here, on the borders of the countryside. Addenbrookes, and all that is developing within the site, is one thing, but I think we should be allowed our “dreaming suburbs” still.

    1. Chris,

      Thank you for those very helpful and constructive suggestions of yours about how to object to this development. I am very sorry that I didn’t spot them in time. Your comments go right to the point of what is good architecture. It is about creating a sense of place and community. Good architecture is not about greed and growth.

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