This is why you need transparency *and* trained, informed, and educated people (whether councillors, paid professionals, or active residents) to keep a watch on very large institutions
In this case, Cllr Sam Davies (Ind – Queen Ediths – Cambridge City Council) spotted this.
“Noooo! My head is full of brain fog! Do we have to look at this?!?!”
Yes because someone has controversial plans on the internet that affect the future of our city.
It’s all at https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/40064 – and for those of you interested in the water crisis, have a look at the Utilities Appraisal.
….which does not align with what another set of expensive consultants said to the Cambridge City & South Cambridgeshire District Councils. Below: Expensive consultants Stantec vs Expensive consultants Buro Happold.
“There is no environmental capacity for additional development in the new Local Plan [2030 ono] to be supplied by with water by increased abstraction from the Chalk Aquifer. Even the current level of abstraction is widely believed to be unsustainable”.p17 here.
On Security of Supply, Buro Happold wrote:
“The majority of water in the Cambridge region is abstracted from ground water sources. In 2013 the Environment Agency (EA) set Cambridge’s water stress as moderate. No further assessment of water stress has been completed by the EA since this time” (p5 para 3.2) File Utilities Appraisal_Buro Happold_Apr2021.pdf in the tab Supporting Documents.
Buro Happold also claim:
“The water stress which has been identified in Cambridge is a constraint on growth within the wider Cambridge region generally. The size and mix of uses onsite will allow for the deployment of the water demand and recycling measures necessary to allow for growth with a reduced impact on available resources.” (ibid, p6)
The Environment Agency’s performance has already been heavily criticised for its failure both to protect rivers and to prosecute the highly profitable water companies who regularly pump raw sewage into rivers. Furthermore, in the face of the climate emergency that is now here, and the last assessment of water stress having taken place eight years ago, it’s more than time for water stress levels to be re-assessed, and with much greater scrutiny as well.
One of the conversations that has been in the background is the resilience of the UK’s electricity network. A few months ago, National Grid issued a warning about energy shortfalls. You can also read this Energy Security Briefing from Imperial College London.
***Note these are only very early outline proposals for the next local plan – i.e. from 2030***
But someone will have to deal with them. And there’s no guarantee that these will go through. But it’s worth knowing now what might be in the pipeline. Such as at Babraham, represented by Bidwells. See https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/40297 again, click on the Supporting Evidence tab.
*Well that looks like fun!*
As a plan, it can only function if there is a mass transit out of Cambridge. The CAM Metro will be scrapped by the new Mayor. What do the developers here have to say on what might replace it? And how much would they be willing to contribute say to a Cambridge Light Rail alternative?
You can scrutinise all this too!
- Have a look at the site submissions map at https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/emerging-plans-and-guidance/greater-cambridge-local-plan/document-library/site-submissions/
- Click on any of the areas not shaded green
- Above where it says “Site Name” there will be a five-digit JDI reference.
- Copy and paste this link into a browser. https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/XXXXX
- Replace XXXXX with the five digit JDI Ref. eg https://consultations.greatercambridgeplanning.org/form/40297
- Click on the tab “Supporting evidence”
- Anything that looks like a map, a plan, or a large file, download and have a look at.
- Screengrab anything that looks interesting
- Share on social media that what you found needs closer scrutiny.
- Email your city/district councillor via https://www.writetothem.com/ with any concerns you may have. They can advise accordingly/write to the council’s planning officers on your behalf. <<– By engaging with your local councillors you are also strengthening local democracy – especially if you have never contacted a politician before. For those of you who are new to this, I strongly urge you to ignore the negative stereotypes of politicians, and start a conversation with them. You may be surprised!
- I am not responsible for anything bad that may happen if you choose to do the above – it’s at your own risk! (Nothing bad should happen – its a joint city/district council-commissioned website)
Over to you.
If you are interested in the longer term future of Cambridge, and on what happens at the local democracy meetings where decisions are made, feel free to: