Relocated Waterbeach station

Well, the planning permission has been submitted and can be found here. Unfortunately quite a few of the documents are unreadable and I have emailed South Cambs to tell them.

My main concern with the application is the proposed access down Cody Road. However, it is difficult to comment on everything since so many of the documents cannot be accessed. I’ll have another go at commenting when these documents are available.


Nothing changes!

17 years ago (in 2000) I was part of a group fighting to get Waterbeach excluded from the County Structure plan as the site of a new settlement. We won the fight then and Northstowe was selected.
I have just found the presentation I gave to the County Council and much of what I said then is still relevant.
CCC Presentation 2000

Waterbeach Station Improvement

I have been told by many people that the existing platforms at Waterbeach Station would definitely be extended fairly soon. Just to make sure, I sent in a Freedom of Information request to Network Rail:

“I should be grateful if you could supply me with details of your plans to
extend the platforms at the existing Waterbeach Station. In particular, whether
this is a definite plan and, if so, when you envisage completion.”

The essence of their response was:

“You can find the requested details in the Control Period 5 Enhancement Delivery Plan.

This was updated in December 2017 and provides as much information as we hold
on the subject of your request at present”

The crucial bit of this plan is on page 31 (click on the image to see it full size):

I must say, this doesn’t appear very definite to me, but maybe those who understand railway-speak can enlighten me,


The South Cambridgeshire Local Plan

I have been looking through the proposals for amendments to the Local Plan which have just appeared. I haven’t looked at them in detail but there are a few points that pop out as being important for residents of Waterbeach who are concerned about the new town.
1 The plan has added the word ‘approximately’ to the size of the development which now reads ‘approximately 8,000 to 9,000 dwellings’
2 The word ‘new’ has been replaced by ‘relocated’ when referring to what will happen to Waterbeach Station.
3 Stronger protection is given to the setting of Denny Abbey and additional protection is given to some of the other heritage assets on the site including ‘World War 2 structures and raised causeways’.
4 A reference to ‘odour … from the Waterbeach Waste Management Park’ is included as something that the site should be protected from.
5 References to separation from Waterbeach have been replaced by ‘Maintaining the identity of Waterbeach village as a village close to the new town is also necessary’
I am sure that there are lots of other things that may be spotted and I leave that to others. You can see most of the stuff relating to Waterbeach at

Waterbeach new station (2)

This map shows the approximate location of the new station as proposed in the GRIP 2 report mentioned in my previous post.

The location is shown in red and the access road from Bannold Drove is shown in dark blue. Some of those points in the village where the walking distance is less to the new station are shown with blue markers; those where the existing station is closer are shown with red markers.

The main point is that, because the access is so far north along Bannold Drove, the walking distance for most residents of Waterbeach will be quite a lot further to the new station than to the old one on Station Road.

I have done a few measurements using Google maps and the walking times (in minutes) look like

Starting point New station Current station Nearer
Jn Cattells Lane, Way Lane 17 10 Current
End of Payton Way 25 13 Current
Jn Bannold Road, Denny End Road 18 14 Current
Jn Cattells Lane, High Street 20 14 Current
Jn Bannold Road, Way Lane 13 15 New
Jn Providence Way, Denny End Road 21 17 Current
Jn Winfold Road, Clare Close 24 17 Current
Jn Capper Road, Cody Road 12 20 New
Jn Way Lane, Spurgeons Avenue 15 12 Current

Thus, unless you live either on Bannold Road north of the Way Lane junction or in the former married quarters, the walking distance will be less to the existing station.

Watch out for further comments on this and keep your eyes skinned for RLW’s outline planning application.

Waterbeach Station

I’ve just found a very interesting document dated last October. I’m quite surprised that it hasn’t surfaced before. It’s called ‘NEW WATERBEACH STATION GRIP 2 REPORT’.

GRIP stands for Governance for Railway Investment Projects and is the process that Network Rail uses to manage developments to enhance or renew Britain’s rail network. The GRIP process apparently has 8 stages and stage 2 is defined as

Feasibility – Defines the investment goals and identifies constraints to ensure that they can be achieved both economically and strategically.

If you would like to read it, you can find it here. I’ll be digesting it over the next few days or weeks, especially since the Parish Council has recently had a presentation on RLW’s plans in this area. Watch this blog for further thoughts.

Email to South Cambridgeshire District Councillors

I have just sent the following email to all South Cambridgeshire District Councillors:

Dear Councillor 

As the former County Councillor for the Waterbeach Division I have for many years questioned the advisability of developing the former Waterbeach Barracks site as a new town. I was very disappointed to see that the proposal now appears in the draft Local Plan and I made a number of comments at various stages of the planning process.

 In particular I should like to draw your attention to Representation 59108 where I cast doubt on the proven need for this development.

The plan suggests that development will not take place until towards the end of the plan period. A great deal can change between now and then, and it is vital that a constant watch is kept on the requirements for housing and that no start is made on development at Waterbeach unless and until it is proved that the requirements cannot be met by developments elsewhere. Including a commitment at this stage to develop Waterbeach is premature.

 We already see the potential developers of the site, RLW estates and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, pressing to have development started earlier than proposed (see, for example, representation 60374). By including an unconditional proposal to develop a large new settlement at Waterbeach in the plan the Council is weakening its ability to resist this developer pressure. The example of Northstowe where the site was agreed upon over ten years ago but where no significant development has yet taken place should be a warning to all; don’t allocate Waterbeach until Northstowe is substantially on the way.


Michael Williamson