Azara Blog: First small part of NIAB site application is approved

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Date published: 2008/05/20

The Cambridge News says:

Plans for more than 1,600 homes to be built in Cambridge are a step closer to being finalised this week despite protests from residents.

Planning chiefs for Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, and South Cambridgeshire District Council agreed two planning applications for the development on the former National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) site just off Huntingdon Road, including one for a new headquarters for the company.

A further application covering the whole site is due to be considered later in the year following amendments and a public consultation, but the permission granted in the past week allows for 187 new dwellings and a new access road from Huntingdon Road as well as the new headquarters which includes state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.
However, residents in the area are concerned the development will cause misery on the roads, does not adequately protect the area from flood risk, and will overcrowd existing residents.

Norman Lightfoot, of Tavistock Road, said: "The application is just the start of a housing development that will change the area significantly; the numbers of new dwellings involved in total are equivalent to superimposing a population the size of a large village next to the existing residents.

"Sustainability seems to be a byword in local planning, but maintaining the quality of life for residents in this area should also be paramount."

Jonathan Mackenzie, resident of Howes Place, says the new headquarters planned for the site will dwarf the homes in the road and increase noise and light pollution.

"We are also very concerned that there will be a significant increase in noise and light pollution."

Only one step out of a hundred, but at least some progress is being made. Unfortunately here, as elsewhere, we have to put up with existing residents angling to keep their privileges in life. So evidently it is ok for the residents of Howes Place to create noise and light pollution but not for anyone else. And evidently dumping hundreds of homes in the Tavistock Road area in the 1960s/1970s was fine and dandy for the residents who now live there, but we shouldn't allow any similar development now. This kind of academic middle class agitating is going to cause this new development to end up being much worse than it otherwise would be. For example, there will be extremely poor road access from the NIAB site into Cambridge, and that by itself will cause more "misery on the roads" than would otherwise be the case.

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