Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Golden Green Belt opportunity lost

Image caption goes here Image caption goes here Photo: © Photo source

29 July 2014 

Countryside campaigners in Cambridgeshire have reacted angrily to the news that South Cambridgeshire District Council has lost a planning appeal at Bannold Road in Waterbeach.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has lost a planning appeal at Bannold Road in Waterbeach.

The site, which lies on the northern edge of the village, had been earmarked by the District Council to become part of the Cambridge Green Belt to maintain a buffer of open countryside between the village and the proposed new town on land at Waterbeach Barracks. 

South Cambridgeshire refused planning permission sought by the developers, Persimmon Homes, to build 90 houses on the site. The developers went to appeal arguing the District Council did not have an up-to-date local plan and so could not show that they had provided enough land for houses to be built on in the next 5 years.

Michael Monk, Chairman of Cambridgeshire Campaign to Protect Rural England, said "We in CPRE warned the Government their new planning rules would result in green fields being built on unnecessarily, but we were branded as scaremongers.

“Now the folly of the Government's approach is being laid bare - just as it is across many other areas in rural England. South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City Council have steamed ahead at full pelt.  They have tried really hard to get new local plans in place quickly. But - the Government's rules means that they have been over-ruled and it looks as if the people of Waterbeach will pay the price.

“We in CPRE have not objected to proposed developments at places like Waterbeach Barracks on the principle that it would make good use of brownfield land.  The decision not to object is not always easy for us but we try to be realistic, given the development pressures in the Cambridge area. All we asked was that protection should be given to exiting villages - and now that is being denied us, entirely down to Government planning rules.  A golden opportunity to create an important buffer zone has been lost."

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