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Plans for new village at Bourn Airfield backed by Planning Committee

Plans for a new village of around 3,500 homes on the former World War Two Airfield at Bourn have been supported by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee.

40% of the new homes will be classed as affordable – in line with the Council’s Local Plan policies. These homes will be a mixture of affordable rent, shared ownership, rent to buy and discount market sale. A wide range of new community facilities will come forward, including a new secondary school, two primary schools, community centres and playing fields.

A £20-million package to support local transport upgrades is part of the plans and includes walking, cycling and bus routes and electric car charging points. There will be woodlands, wildlife habitat areas, grassland, allotments and community orchards.

The Committee met today (Friday 19 February) to discuss the application from developers Countryside. They voted to support proposals for the new community on 210 hectares of land between Cambourne and Caldecote. The site is one of the new settlements that was allocated for development as part of the Council’s 2018 Local Plan, with this application being the next stage in bringing the plans forward.

The area is a mixture of previously developed land and agricultural fields. As part of the development, there will also be shops, offices, healthcare, nurseries, library, place of worship and a hotel.

The development will be governed by a range of conditions covering transport, protecting the environment and ecology, the quality of the buildings and more. Additionally, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority continue to work on delivering a new public transport system that will link the development with Cambourne and Cambridge.

Earlier this year, the District Council’s Planning Committee approved plans for new commercial buildings on the former Gestamp Factory on the airfield. The applicant estimated that the redevelopment of this old factory site would create up to 800 new, full time jobs.

Deputy Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council and Lead Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, said: “Today’s Planning Committee decision will help to bring forward many new homes that we know we desperately need. It is excellent that 40% of them will be affordable to live in – a proportion which meets our local planning policies. These plans have come forward over the course of several years and the Bourn Airfield scheme is long-term, planned development that is part of our current Local Plan. I’m pleased to see that there is a real focus on nature for this site, with woodlands, wildlife habitat areas, grassland, allotments, community orchards and open space all included. There are strict controls in place to ensure that local transport upgrades come forward hand-in-hand as new homes are built, and we will of course be working alongside our communities and local government partners to ensure these are delivered efficiently but sensitively.”

A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which gives more detail on how the new village should come forward, was adopted by the Council in September 2019 following a public consultation. The SPD says the new development should be well connected with traffic-free, active travel routes and high-quality public transport, both locally, to Cambridge and ultimately St Neots. It also outlines how it should be vibrant, prosperous and inclusive with housing for all, schools, sports and leisure, community uses, shops and jobs.

Andrew Taylor, Group Planning Director, Countryside, said: “Having worked with the Council, Parish Councils and residents for nearly a decade, we are delighted the Planning Committee has decided to grant our sustainable village planning permission.

“We have always sought to work cooperatively with our partners, and this has allowed our scheme to evolve over time, ensuring it works not only for the residents who will be moving into the new village, but also for those in the surrounding area. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council and our partners to bring forward the first homes in the near future.”


Image: illustrative view of proposed new village at Bourn Airfield site. Credit: Countryside.

19 February 2021