The meeting considered a revised planning application for the Solar Farm on the eastern edge of Sawston. A greatly reduced scheme has been proposed following the rejection of the initial proposal. The PC confirmed its objections. The matter is to be considered by SCDC planners in early December. The Research Campus Master Plan application has been passed to the minister for a final decision.
The meeting heard that the Solar Farm application has been rejected by SCDC. The PC and the Research Campus are to work on a scheme for a series of information boards together with a nice bench for the footpath side of the river opposite the sculpture series. BRC are looking at commissioning two new sculptures from Lucy Unwin. We also learned that BT have made the Sawston exchange fibre broadband available to other providers.
Following a busy summer of activity the council met again in September. The meeting learned that Sawston Parish Council have voted to object to the proposed Solar Farm. SCDC will decide the outcome of the application in coming weeks. As is common in many parts of the country applications for solar farms are being submitted ahead of cuts to government funding next year. SCDC are also considering an application in Thriplow for a similar solar farm.
The Local Plan, that proposes major housing developments on our side of Sawston, is about to be reviewed by an Inspector. We have learned that this process will begin in late October. The PC will be represented where possible to press our objections.
Throughout the summer the PC has been attempting to gain some funding for measures to manage and lessen the impact of additional traffic through the village that will result from the proposed Football stadium in east Sawston and its associated car boot sales. Since the meeting we have learned that SCDC planners and the county highways department have chosen to disregard our fears and it seems we will be left to our own devices. It is now up to the Secretary of State to finally decide on the application. The PC is not allowed to make representations to the Secretary of State.
Whilst our super fast broadband is becoming reliable, we as yet do not have any dates on which providers other than BT will be able to offer a service. It should be soon but we don’t know when. It still remains that parts of the parish can not receive the improved service – a situation we are chasing.
Babraham Research Campus reports that their latest new building is to completed by the end of September and that there will be an opportunity to attend the opening. Following on from that the next building phase will begin in January next year. They are also considering a redevelopment of the conference centre area of the campus. Plans will include similar, but improved, facilities that will be made available for the benefit of our community.
Detailed discussions are being held concerning the next phase of the riverside public art project. Two further sculptures are being considered and on the opposite bank, the footpath side, plans for seating and information boards are progressing.
The meeting learned that the cycleway along side the A1307 from Cambridge is waiting for BT to relocate their telegraph poles before it can be finally completed. The path is being used both by pedestrians and cyclists already, it seems likely that, like the Sawston cycleway, use will exceed expectation. The next phase is well underway, in the sense that it is being discussed in earnest by all parties. A linking cycleway from the Campus roundabout through to the village will have to be built on campus land and will affect their security. Negotiations and plans are near completion and once it is built all local cycleways will join up.
This months meeting was primarily concerned with the major planning applications that will effect the village. In the first instance we were informed that the planning application for the Solar Farm has just been submitted. The council’s view on this is to oppose it on the grounds that it is in the green belt even though we appreciate the efforts to provide energy from renewable sources. The application is likely to be considered by SCDC during the summer.
We also understand that the planning application for the next phase of development at Babraham Research Campus is to be submitted in the week beginning 14 July. Again the council is objecting on the principle of wanting to preserve our green belt protection. Whilst we continue to support the research campus we believe that we cannot allow exceptions or special cases as inevitably they will mount up to a significant erosion of the protection the green belt affords us.
Following the recent granting of the application for the football stadium on the edge of Sawston nearest us the PC is in negotiation with SCDC and the developers architects to see what can be done to lessen the inevitable increase in traffic this development will cause. It is not just the odd football match that will increase traffic flows it is also the use of the venue for conferences, weddings, parties and a weekly Sunday morning car boot sale. The council has agreed to keep fighting this application and whilst we are unlikely to be able to win the argument for a rescinding of the approval we hope to be able to at least gain some measures to restrict the amount of traffic using the village as a route to the venue. These negotiations are continuing.
On a more promising development the council reports that the riverside public art has been generally well received. The research campus is to put in place the improvements to the riverside path they promised, benches and information boards etc. and is actively considering commissioning some additional sculptures by the same artist, Lucy Unwin.
Councillor Mike Read tendered his resignation as he is sadly moving out of the village. This of course means there will be a vacancy on the council. If anyone is interested in the business of village life and has a little time to give then please contact us for more information. The council only has five members, the work involved is light and both very interesting and useful.Continue reading
The main items discussed were the approval of the planning application for the football stadium. The PC is to attend a meeting with SCDC planners and Sawston PC to see what measures can be taken to mitigate the effects of the anticipated extra traffic. This meeting will be in June. The plan as submitted includes a financial contribution to highways improvements in Sawston but not in Babraham or for the Pampisford Whych.
The Solar Farm application is to be opposed by the council on the grounds of the land being in the Green Belt and would increase the likelihood of Sawston and Babraham merging eventually. There are concerns about the state of the land when the farm comes to the end of its life in 25 years, and the removal of such a large area of open countryside and its effects on wildlife. The council also took the view that it would be an eyesore and the planned screening by trees would be inadequate for many years.Continue reading