Welcome to the Longstanton Ward page, covering the parishes of Longstanton and Oakington & Westwick.
Sarah Cheung Johnson (District Councillor)
Alex Malyon (District Councillor)
You can also get in touch with any of our main South Cambs contacts found here.
We produce a regular email newsletter. If you would like to receive these then please subscribe here.
Northstowe Phases 3A and 3B district councillor response
Below is our response to the planning applications for Northstowe Phases 3A and 3B. In short, we have objected to Phase 3A in line with the very comprehensive set of objections from Oakington Parish Council, and have approved 3B with appropriate conditions.
We would like to thank those residents who put their views forward on the planning website and for wading through what we know were a huge number of confusing planning documents.
It will go to Planning Committee later in the year - we will be attending this meeting, and residents are also invited to attend and share their views. We will update you when a date is confirmed.
We would like to thank Homes England for the extensive consultation work they have done with the community on the overall concept and design of Phase 3A. We are pleased to see many of the suggestions from residents, including maintaining the airfield’s features and the historic link along Mill Lane from Oakington to Longstanton, have been included in the design. We are also pleased to see significantly more green space included than what policy demands.
However, comments and objections made by Oakington residents and the Oakington Parish Council reflect the concerns of the village about this outline planning application. We would like to thank Oakington Parish Council and their working group, which included members of the Oakington Traffic Action Group, Environmental Action Group and Flood Mitigation Group, for the incredible hard work and diligence in reviewing this outline planning application on behalf of residents, and their comprehensive comments and objections.
As the elected representatives for this ward, we wish to object to the overall development based on the following specific issues.
1: Insufficient green separation between Oakington and Northstowe
It has always been understood that the individual village characteristics of Longstanton and Oakington should be preserved as part of the Northstowe development. One of the primary means to achieve this is through sufficient green separation between the village frameworks and the built-up area of Northstowe.
The suggested separation in this planning application narrows down to 60 metres at some points, which is not enough, especially as much of it will be in use by Northstowe residents in the form of allotments, greenways, cycle paths and a pocket park.
A number of Oakington residents and the Parish Council have objected that the boundary of Northstowe will now directly back onto the gardens of existing properties, affecting their privacy. We support these objections.
2: Inappropriate housing to the south of the site, including excessive housing height
We support objections raised by Oakington Parish Council and residents, to the proposed housing types along the southern edge of the development. In our view these do not comply with aims for Northstowe to be contained almost wholly from views in Oakington, as stated in the original Northstowe Area Action Plan.
Concerns were raised about the proposal to locate a large parcel of housing to the southeast of the site, in close proximity to existing properties on Church View and Mill Road. This includes a three-storey block, which will rise above the existing line of trees. We are particularly concerned about the proximity of this housing to the historic Anglo-Saxon heart of Oakington.
We are also concerned about the addition of housing to the southwest of the site, bordering Lowbury Crescent and Longstanton Road. This housing would further narrow the green separation. We object to the location of this housing and suggest that building should stop at the perimeter road.
We have further concerns about excessive building heights along Oakington Edge. The Northstowe Area Action Plan proposed height restrictions of two storeys here so that buildings would be located behind the substantial natural buffers of the existing tree belt. Unfortunately, this application proposes three-storey housing bordering Church View and Mill Road. The housing proposed along Lowbury Crescent and Longstanton Road is also three-storey. Housing that faces Oakington village should be two-storey height at most.
3: Excessive increase in traffic through the villages of Oakington and Westwick
The data provided in the Traffic Assessment Report in this planning application indicates significant increases in traffic during peak hours on Dry Drayton Road, Water Lane, Station Road and Cambridge Road, with all junctions in the vicinity of the development over capacity.
We are particularly concerned about the potential for increased traffic along Water Lane, where Oakington Village Primary School is located. This would potentially pose an increased risk to children travelling to school and lead to an increase in air pollution in its vicinity.
4: The proposed design and location of the Southern Access Road East
We note the concerns raised by Oakington Parish Council and residents about the Southern Access Road East, and agree that this should ideally feed into the existing roundabout at the Dry Drayton interchange and the local access road. However, we understand that this has been rejected by Highways England due to the A14 design work. We urge Homes England to look for a solution to this issue.
We also note the concern raised by Oakington Parish Council and residents regarding the proposal for a roundabout linking the SARE to Dry Road. This would potentially encourage vehicles to turn into the village, increasing traffic through the village. This issue could be partially mitigated by preventing traffic from turning left from the SARE.
5: Inadequacies in the Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
We have had significant challenges with enforcement of planning conditions related to construction at Northstowe, causing extensive disruption to residents living on or near to the site. It is therefore essential that robust, enforceable conditions are contained in any CEMP approved as part of this application.
As Oakington Parish Council notes, residents will be living with Northstowe construction in excess of ten years. We feel there are inadequacies in the existing CEMP and that it should be rejected in its current form. It should be resubmitted with accurate, measurable and enforceable conditions, to cover:
- Development work timings – strict limits on times of construction
- Specific requirements on noise and dust monitoring, mitigation and issue resolution
- Limits of construction vehicle movement with no construction vehicle access via Oakington village
- Flood attenuation is also essential to Oakington village, much of which is located on a flood plain. The village has suffered several recent flood events. Concerns regarding flood attenuation were recognised with £400,000 allocated in the Phase 2 planning application for the building of attenuation ponds to control the flow through Oakington Brook. Concerns have been raised by the Parish Council that no reference is made in this application to commitments made by Homes England to the implementation of flood mitigation work. Should permission be granted, firm conditions and commitments are sought from Homes England to sufficiently mitigate the flood risk to Oakington village to at least a 1-in-200-year event standard (plus a 40% climate change allowance). Existing works from the Dry Drayton Ponds agreement have yet to be put into action and we request that no occupations are permitted on 3A until this is actioned.
Should permission be granted we would also request a specific environmental management plan for the Military Lake and for this to be fully reviewed by an SCDC ecologist.
We broadly support this application and welcome the work done on the Northstowe Co-ordination Statement from Homes England, Endurance Estates and Digital Park Estates, to ensure coordination for a cohesive and consistent development.
Where possible we would request formal commitments to be sought so that this document does not merely represent an ideal but something all three developers could commit to.
We request that, to maintain separate identities for Longstanton village and Northstowe, the edge houses visible from the northern end of Longstanton be no higher than two storeys – these are the houses along the B1050 and running diagonally along the length of Phase 3B to the west.
We note concerns about potential air pollution around the school site and request that air monitoring is provided along here, as well as research for adequate arboreal mitigation of air pollution.
Should permission be granted, we wish to request specific enforceable conditions be laid down by the Council in the Construction Management Plan, to include (but not limited to):
- Strict, enforceable limits on construction times
- Specific measures to monitor and mitigate dust and noise
- Construction vehicle access to only be from the B1050 and A14, and not via Longstanton, Willingham or Northstowe itself
Community governance review for Longstanton, Oakington and Northstowe
There has been some confusion over the green separation between Oakington and Northstowe, which we hope this clarifies:
All three options show a proposed boundary between Oakington and Northstowe that places a significant amount of the green separation within the Oakington and Westwick Civil Parish boundary.
However, this would not necessarily confer any rights or responsibilities regarding management and maintenance, as this land is owned by Homes England and they are still in the process of working out how community assets and open spaces are to be managed for the long term, including the approach that would be applied for this land in question.
This is what Homes England have said:
“As a new town, Northstowe will deliver a range of high-quality public assets and communal areas. A key part of the vision for Northstowe is to ensure that these assets are managed in perpetuity, continuing to reflect this high quality, and benefit the community. As such, it will be important to have appropriate management and maintenance arrangements in place, to support the identity of the town and enhance resident experience. To inform this process, and identify an effective approach, Homes England have commissioned a long-term stewardship toolkit. This toolkit includes an options appraisal of the main stewardship models, outlining their relative advantages and disadvantages, and the roles and responsibilities of key partners involved. Once complete, the toolkit will support decision-making on how the preferred model should be structured, financed and governed to deliver the optimum stewardship arrangement for Northstowe.”
We anticipate that Homes England will be involving stakeholders in discussions about management and maintenance options as they work through this issue with the toolkit developed (which itself is awaiting sign-off from within Homes England). We are happy to chase if these discussions do not take place in a timely manner.
Longstanton Cemetery fly-tipping update
The fixed penalty on the fly-tipping witnessed has not been paid, so South Cambs are moving to prosecution.
We have had concerns raised about the difficulty of getting doctors’ appointments and Northstowe being the cause of this. This is the response from the Longstanton & Willingham Surgery saying that the increase in wait times is not caused by Northstowe. A reminder that the money in the NHS follows the patient - if therevare more patients in a surgery, they get more money, it’s not less of a pie, so to speak. If you continue to experience issues let us know.
“I agree that the wait times have gone up at both Willingham and Longstanton but Northstowe is not the reason. We changed our appointment system as we were not able to meet the demand for urgent on-the-day appointments with the amount of routine appointment slots that we were leaving available.
In order to see all patients who request to be dealt with urgently, we had to decrease the number of routine appointments available. We trialled this system at the beginning of last winter and found it to be much more manageable, so we have continued with this new system.
The practice has grown in size but we have also increased the number of doctors, so the size of the practice (and taking new patients from Northstowe) has no effect on the time you wait for a routine appointment. As explained above it is the new appointment system and the overall reduction in routine appointments available.
We discuss the appointments regularly and change them according to the demand for urgent on-the-day appointments. Therefore should the demand decrease we would increase the amount of routine appointments, such as in the summer months (except for the fact that we are now not working normally as most work being done by doctors is via telephone - due to Covid-19). The practice will continue to update the system as necessary.”
We have been really pleased to see how much progress has been made on the allotments, well done to the Northstowe Horticultural Association for all their hard work to get up and running.
We are especially pleased that on our insistence, the agreement for the Horticultural Association allowed Longstanton residents to have a plot in Northstowe provided they were active members.
It has also allowed Northstowe and Longstanton residents to come together and build the Association, plan their plots and look forward to more exciting plans for the community orchard and garden. We love that the communities are literally growing together!
For more information please get in touch directly with the Northstowe Horticultural Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
Northstowe Pioneer Park
We have chased L&Q for updates on when Pioneer Park will be open to the community – they have risk-assessment work to do and were unwilling to be pinned down to a date, but indicated the end of September.
Northstowe antisocial behaviour
There have been reports of antisocial behaviour at Northstowe and potential damage to the play park. We have encouraged residents to report it all to the police so that the information is logged and passed to the local PCSOs, who have increased their presence in Northstowe.
Northstowe post box
Due to a tremendous backlog of work from lockdown, it will take a couple of months for the post box to be installed, but it will probably be a pillar box, located near the notice board on The Green.
Northstowe Phase 2 housebuilding underway
Urban Splash have begun work on Phase 2A, with the building of Inholm, the new 'urban village' including 81 council homes, being built using the latest modern methods of construction. Houses were released for sale on 13th September. Read more
Please don't hesitate to email us if you would like to discuss the above matters or anything else:
Sarah Cheung Johnson email@example.com
Alex Malyon firstname.lastname@example.org
District Councillors for Longstanton, Oakington and Northstowe
You can view all our campaigns on the campaigns page of this website.
Do you have an idea for a campaign in your community? Why not let us know, or better yet, let's run it together.