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