Cambridgeshire County Council
University Stakeholder Workshops - November 2009
The following is a report from the stakeholder meeting I attended last week.
Key Notes from University Stakeholder Workshops - 10 and 11 November
The notes from the workshops and key messages reflect an overview of the discussions, and the thoughts/aspirations of the stakeholders involved.
Key Messages -
1. Links to surrounds, crucial to make cycling, walking and public transport the most useable transport form into and out of site. High quality routes for sustainable travel, through routes for walking and cycling. Road speeds
2. Nature of the key worker housing, allocations - what is then and when will it be defined?
3. Modern high quality architecture, to reflect this period and not the past
4. Establish identity as part of the city
5. Importance of green spaces, sports, recreation and community facilities - links to NIAB, West Cambridge and existing population
6. Open space at the heart, links through the open spaces
7. Exemplar sustainable development, energy facilities used for educational purposes, use of waste. SUDs schemes and management of these
8. Number of different people characteristics and aspirations for the site - integrated community
Key Discussion Points Masterplan and Land Use - Days 1 & 2(pm only)
- Key Existing Characteristics of Cambridge - distinct housing, large open spaces, cycling, cattle and agricultural uses near city centre, education, arts, community, ownership of space, children, young people, navigation of the Cam, street setting, high quality architecture to reflect its period- iconic buildings but not too many of these competing with each other (like at West Cambridge), consistency of building materials
- What the Urban Form for North West Cambridge should be - extension to the city, not an independent site, use of the ridgeway and landmark buildings. Student clusters, relationship of student and key worker housing to market housing. Need to capture a sense of Cambridge, protect the green spaces and green belt.
- Residents in Huntingdon Road - expressed desire for detached 2/3 storey houses on the periphery of the site with long back gardens to back onto the existing properties. 19 acre field - low density, establish links into site, Huntingdon Road and to NIAB
- Community Facilities (in local centre) -cultural and arts venue, primary school, concert hall, nursery provision, doctors surgery, need for a second small centre to north west of the site with community and nursery facilities
- Local Centre - residential in centre was considered key to success learning from other sites, schools, foodstore, other shops, links from P&R (walking, cycling, bus), hotel, 18 hour activity civic hub, night-time economy, identity, safe and functional
- Landscape/Open Space - green spaces/fingers and SUDs, -retain the setting of Cambridge, open space - useable sports pitches- 'green gym' in western edge, planting in short, medium and long term, informal spaces, management of the spaces
- Transport and Movement - Cycling and walking - connections within the site and to the surrounding areas critical. Establish safe, well lit, well used routes, crossings over all roads critical, especially main arteries. Need for segregated cycle and bus lanes as much as possible with some shared surfaces running through the site. Speeds on radial roads. Minimise car use and create an attractive environment for sustainable travel.
- Cycle Parking - numerous small cycle parks rather than mass areas, easier to find bikes, less visually obtrusive - must be accessible safe, secure and well lit
- Connections - importance of links to NIAB, NIAB Extra for secondary schooling, workers living in NIAB and working in the North West or West Cambridge. Connections to West Cambridge, Madingley Rise, Storeys Way, existing population on Huntingdon Road, Girton and Girton College highlighted. Link to the existing public footpath and cycle network to access areas such as City Centre, Station, Addenbrookes and Science Parks and into the countryside around Coton
- Sustainable - exemplar scheme, energy centre embedded in the development, celebrate don't hide waste, use the most viable energy option for the development, think about the future not just what is required at the point of the initial applications, links to West Cambridge, procurement, orientation of buildings and streets, solar levels, use of lighting
- NW Corner - noise and air quality concerns were raised - what form of development could be accommodated in this corner (one group suggested park & ride or park and cycle), gateway to the site, phasing in the development?
Day 2 (am only)- Commenced with the attendees being asked to adopt the mindset of particular groups of the community and highlight the key issues for these people -
- Key workers - short term contracts 1-3 years, may have young children, partners in employment too, need for nursery provision, high quality primary schools, active - recreation facilities and open space important, access to work important- west Cambridge, City Centre, Addenbrookes - for partners. Importance of the debate on what a key worker is- is it all University workers?
- West Cambridge Academic - purchase market housing, or live in NIAB as housing could be cheaper on the NIAB sites? Importance of links from NIAB through to West Cambridge. Allotments, functional open space for family days, walking, cycling. Community and cultural facilities important. Likely to be very interested in and supportive of sustainable technologies
- University Student - cycle and walking access to city centre entertainments and nightlife, support for those for whom English is not the first language, space for sport, green gyms, gym, sports facilities and pitches, interest in carbon footprint and low bills, cycle spaces, light pollution, laundries, flexible open spaces
- Commercial Researcher - access to the City centre, facilities and meeting points in the local centre to share opinions and knowledge, play spaces for children, importance of high quality/performing schools
- Girton Resident - connections, permeable links, role of the foodstore as a draw and facilities in local centre, pub, café, evening functions, links between the communities, links to NIAB facilities and schools
- Huntingdon Road Resident - sympathetic development, gardens backing onto gardens, when will development happen, construction noise and traffic, when will facilities be built, traffic impact with NIAB also, shared facilities with NIAB safe Huntingdon Road crossings
- Primary School Student - play spaces, safe cycle routes, open space exclusive for children and safe, number of primary schools, no car drop off at schools, designated spaces, play groups, access to nature, allotments and areas to learn about growing food and plants