District Councillors’ Report, Feb 2021

Here is our report for February. You can also download it as a PDF by clicking the link.

Joint District Councillors’ Report February 2021

District councillors’ monthly report for the communities of Histon & Impington, Orchard Park and King’s Meadow.

Your Councillors are always ready to help. If you have any questions about these – or indeed any other – matters, please do not hesitate to contact us. Councillor Steve Hunt is on 01223 455180 or Cllr.HuntS@scambs.gov.uk, Councillor Martin Cahn is on 07826 748407 or Cllr.Cahn@scambs.gov.uk, Councillor Pippa Heylings is on 07837 228416 or Cllr.Heylings@scambs.gov.uk. You can also follow your councillors on our webpage http://hiopcouncillors.org, on Twitter @pippa4hiop , and on Facebook @pippaheylings4hiop

Covid-19

Vaccination

New instructions from NHS Cambridge and Peterborough CCG are that any patients who are aged 55 and above, and live in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, are now being called for their first COVID-19 vaccination. They can book their appointments directly using the website

 http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119, or they can get in touch with their GP practice to book their vaccination appointment.

Fens Biosphere Reserve

At the Council meeting of 23rd February the Council passed a motion proposed by Cllr. Pippa Heylings and seconded by Cllr Martin Cahn which asked the Council to write to formally support the proposal for a Fens Biosphere Reserve, and instructed the leader to write to adjoining local authorities to encourage them to do the same. The Fens were awarded candidate status for a UNESCO biosphere reserve in November 2019. Biosphere reserves are part of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere programme and the aim of the designation is to encourage management of the area in a manner which connects people, the economy and nature in a manner in which all can thrive.

The proposed designation area includes parts of South Cambridgeshire. These areas would fall in the transition and buffer zones and would include Histon and Impington. 

Since this meeting both Cambridge City Council and East Cambridge District Council have followed suit and a positive reaction has been received from other councils.

Pension Funds

In the meeting of Council on 23rd February a motion was also passed which asks the Council to write to the investment sub-committee of the Pension Fund Committee of the Local Pension Board asking how they intend to take the financial risk of climate change into account in their investment policies. The objective is to encourage investment policies that neither add to climate change nor expose the pension fund investments to excessive risk thus securing the future pensions of the pension fund members. Cllr Martin Cahn should perhaps express an interest here – he receives a local authority pension, although not from the Cambridgeshire scheme.

HGV Motion

Another decision from Full Council was the passing of a motion about the impact of increased goods vehicle movements on our communities, especially in light of changing shopping patterns due to lockdown restrictions. Council requested the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Transport to request that the government take fully into account the effects of HGV traffic on rural communities when considering changes to current regulations on weight and include supporting evidence of the increases. Council also requested the Leader write to the County Council to ask that it facilitates the use of measures to make our village roads safer and improve the daily lives of our residents.

Bourn Airfield Development

The outline planning application for the Bourn Airfield new village was passed at Planning Committee on 19th February with permission granted for an initial phase of 500 houses. No further development will be permitted until a transport assessment is completed as development proceeds and it is demonstrated that future phases can be suitably accommodated on the network. A new fast transport solution is panned between Cambourne and Cambridge serving the development. It is planned that this village will eventually cater for 3500 houses, and so it will form an essential support to housing supply in the district. Thus it is important in maintaining our 5 year housing land supply and thus ensuring that unsuitable housing sites are not approved elsewhere in the district on appeal.

Police Station

Planning Committee approved the plans for the new Police Station near Milton, subject to conditions for EV charging and CCTV coverage of the A10 footbridge. An informative was added to request maximum on-site power generation.

Zero Carbon Communities Grants

It was great to see the first batch of trees planted by Histon & Impington Trees Action Group as they work to restore a green gateway to the villages. Thanks to the volunteers for their hard work and campaigning, and to all who have supported the project with donations of money, trees, and labour.  SCDC was proud to support this work with a £6,500 grant from the Zero Carbon Communities scheme. Applications for the next round of ZCC funding opens in May and applications will be accepted until 30th July. Applications are invited for projects under the three themes:

  • Community buildings
  • Tree Planting/Nature
  • Other projects which reduce carbon emissions

To find out more visit https://www.scambs.gov.uk/nature-and-climate-change/zero-carbon-communities/zero-carbon-communities-grant/ for details.

Greening your Older Home event – Tuesday 16th March

Older, “character” properties are charming but were built before we needed to think about saving energy and retrofitting. Hear how to make your charming cottage or Victorian town house more sustainable and understand why your property was made the way it was from this practical, fascinating presentation from experts from Greater Cambridgeshire Planning and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

This online event is from 1pm to 2pm on Tuesday 16th March. To register click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/greening-your-older-home-tickets-145285726519

Fly-tipping

We have received reports of significant fly-tipping in and around Orchard Park, and escalated reports that had apparently not been dealt with quickly. Please do report every fly-tip you see because this helps the waste team to see where hotspots are and potentially enables them to deal with multiple fly-tips in one visit.

OxCam Arc

There have been notices in the press recently concerning the government’s intentions to provide more detail on the development of the OxCam Arc – a growth corridor between Oxford and Cambridge. This is an area of the country marked out for significant development in terms of jobs, housing, infrastructure. There is also now more attention to the impact of climate change on the way development takes place. The green agenda, with an emphasis on low carbon initiatives, on biodiversity, on landscape and water management is very much being led by South Cambs – particularly through the work of the Leader, Bridget Smith and that of Chief Executive, Liz Watts. 


It is important for our area, our villages, that we keep abreast of these developments and have an input into the developments; and elected councillors will be doing just that. We have attached to the end of this report information from a presentation made recently giving more details of the development of the spatial framework; and we will continue to report as and when further information comes forward.

Meetings in February

8th FebruaryLicensing CommitteeSteve
9th FebruaryOPCCSteve, Pippa
9th FebruaryCambs. Local Access ForumMartin
10th FebruaryPlanning CommitteePippa, Martin
11th FebruaryAll member briefingPippa, Martin, Steve
15th FebruaryHiston and Impington Parish CouncilPippa, Martin, Steve
17th FebruaryJDCCSteve
19th FebruaryPlanning Committee Extraordinary meeting (Bourn Airfield)Pippa, Martin
23rd FebruaryFull CouncilPippa, Martin, Steve
25th FebruaryFuture Parks Accelerator – Governance Structures WorkshopMartin
25th FebruaryScrutiny and Overview  CommitteeSteve, Martin
26th FebruaryFuture Parks Accelerator Nominated members meetingMartin
26th FebruaryFuture relationships with the EU advisory groupMartin
26th FebruaryGrants Advisory Committee re Zero Carbon Grants.Pippa, Martin

Meetings in March

9th MarchClimate and Environment Advisory CommitteePippa, Martin
10th MarchPlanning CommitteePippa, Martin
10th MarchOrchard Park Community CouncilPippa, Martin, Steve
11th JanuaryPatch 9 GRT Community Inclusion WorkshopMartin, Steve
15th MarchCommunity Briefing for Parish CouncilsPippa, Martin
15th MarchHiston and Impington Parish CouncilPippa, Martin, Steve
16th MarchNature ForumPippa, Martin
16th MarchPlanning BriefingPippa, Martin, Steve
17th MarchJoint Development Control CommitteeSteve
18th MarchScrutiny & Overview CtteCancelled
25th MarchCivic Affairs CommitteeMartin
29th MarchStart of ‘Purdah’ 

APPENDIX : OxCam ARC Spatial Framework : points taken from a recent government document

PURPOSE:

  1. support long-run sustainable economic growth across the area
  2. help to make the area a brilliant place to live, work and travel in – for existing residents and future communities alike
  3. Support lasting improvements to the environment, green infrastructure and biodiversity

By “…focusing on the strategic opportunities for growth and environmental improvement that cross local administrative boundaries and require more joined-up thinking across the area…”

Approach to the Framework – 10 Principles

Collaborative Adaptable Long-term Integrated Inclusive Digital-first Evidence-based Sustainable Quality

Add value page3image3863631920

The Areas Economy – Spatial Framework will…

  • provide an assessment of existing employment land, planned growth and anticipated future need
  • set policies to support local planning authorities in allocating these as Strategic Business Zones or Strategic Industrial Locations, as appropriate
  • set policies to support different land uses for different sectors and sizes of business

The Environment

Setting policy to…

• support retention of, and investment in, key existing and potential new habitats, and improve access to nature and accessible green space

• set high standards for new development, including on carbon emissions, water management, green space, integrated and functional green infrastructure, e.g. for active travel and biodiversity net gain

• support an integrated water management approach, taking into account sustainable water abstraction and drought resilience, water quality, reducing risk and resilience to flooding and how and where new infrastructure should be developed

• support clean air outcomes, with clear links to housing and transport policies • embed the enhancement of natural capital across the Arc
Includes objective to identify Environment “Opportunity Areas”

Transport and Infrastructure in the Arc

“…taking an infrastructure-first approach to growth – identifying and delivering strategic infrastructure priorities as development happens”

Mapping existing health, education, accessible green spaces, social and community infrastructure, utilities, green and blue infrastructure and other infrastructure requirements at an Arc-wide scale

Identify future need and gaps in provision
Create an infrastructure plan to facilitate future growth

proactively setting strategic policies for local transport authorities and local planning authorities to enable this

targeted climate resilience and air quality policies based on air quality modelling

wider strategic policies to facilitate utilities investment in line with key development opportunities, including digital infrastructure

Housing and Planning in the Arc

“…We will plan for the right level of growth in the Arc… to do this the spatial framework will identify:”

Opportunity Areas, to support local planning authorities to plan for this growth

• the infrastructure needed to support sustainable growth in those locations, and the key locations for strategic infrastructure to support sustainable growth

locations for environmental enhancement to achieve greater environmental benefits that can allow development to take place elsewhere

Spatial Framework – polices to enable…

new settlements to come forward at the scale and speed needed

• new development to support habitat recovery, delivery of Local Nature Recovery Strategies, and provision of good-quality green space within schemes

• brownfield redevelopment and densification, and expansion of existing settlements, in sustainable locations or locations that can be made more sustainable by enhanced access to sustainable transport modes

housing needs to be met in full, including delivery of much-needed affordable housing

“….It will indicate locations but will not include site allocations, and it will not include detailed policies set elsewhere in national policy or better left to local plans.”

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