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Page updated 16 October 2018

 

Community news

SCDC Local Plan

South Cambridgeshire District Council's Local Plan (2011 to 2031) was adopted by SCDC on 27th September 2018 – the considerable delay in getting it to this stage was caused by the independent Inspector and not, as some would like one to believe, through any fault of SCDC.

It can be viewed online at www.scambs.gov.uk/media/12564/south-cambridgeshire-adopted-local-plan-270918_sml.pdfHatley St George and East Hatley are mentioned on page 36 (page 49 of the PDF) as 'infill villages', which means:

Infill Villages are generally amongst the smallest in South Cambridgeshire. These villages have a poor range of services and facilities and it is often necessary for local residents to travel outside the village for most of their daily needs. These villages generally lack any food shops, have no primary school and may not have a permanent post office or a village hall or meeting place. Development on any scale would be unsustainable in these villages, as it is will generate a disproportionate number of additional journeys outside the village. Development will not be permitted on sites capable of accommodating scheme sizes significantly larger than 2 or exceptionally 8 dwellings in Infill Villages.

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How Hatley went from Speedwatch to a mobile speed detector

Speedwatch kit in Hatley, August 2011Doing something about those who speed along
the 40 mph stretch through Hatley was tackled between 2009 and 2011 by four
Hatley Speedwatch volunteers – using the calibrated radar sensor (right) which displayed
traffic speeds between 33 and 60 mph (the minimum and maximum the system registers).

The monitoring had the full support of Hatley Parish Council and was part of a county-wide initiative to make drivers aware of local speed limits.  The equipment, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, was on loan from the police, who also trained the Hatley team.  

Speedwatch in Hatley St George, October 2010.The volunteers recorded the speed, registration, make, model and colour of all vehicles doing more than
40 mph, the information passed to the police who sent an 'advisory letter' (usually) to the registered owner of the vehicle as a reminder of the need to observe all speed limits.

Although no prosecutions for speeding resulted, the very fact that the police had a record of individual registrations could trigger a check on insurance, MOT and vehicle tax – and if the same vehicle was recorded speeding on a number of occasions, not necessarily in Hatley, the owner could well have received a visit from the police.

Speedwatch in Hatley St George, August 2009.The four volunteers, Peter Mann, Mick Marshall, Allen Miller and Chris Brett (left to right in high-vis jackets) were not alone with their concerns about the speed of many drivers going though Cambridgeshire villages – it has been the number one topic at all the quarterly Neighbourhood Police Panel meetings since the first one held in Gamlingay in 2006.

Speedwatch sign in Hatley, August 2011."Our particular concern was and is with traffic going through Hatley St George and the 'main' road past the East Hatley turn," said Peter Mann, who has been asking Hatley Parish Council to 'do something' for over 10 years. "Speedwatch shows the parish council, the police, the local authority and those who speed that villagers are very concerned about this matter.

"There is a 40 mph limit along this length of road for a good reason – to help protect pedestrians and all road users.  There are children in Hatley St George who like to play on the playing field and have to cross the road – or cross the road to wait for the school bus in the mornings – a lot of house drives with cars backing out and a poor view of on-coming traffic from the end of the East Hatley road.  They are all danger points made much worse by speeding traffic."

Since the first Speedwatch session on 17 August 2009, a third of the vehicles checked have exceeded the 40 mph limit through Hatley St George and East Hatley.  A detailed analysis of all the sessions to 19 August 2011 is on our Hatley Speedwatch statistics PDF file – those who exceed 46 mph should have received a letter from the police.

You may also wish to download a copy of the note about Speedwatch given to those who stopped and ask what we were doing.

The Parish Council's attempts to 'do' something about the speeding issue were constantly thwarted by events outside of its control – at one point, Gamlingay and Potton Parish Councils were keen on forming a trio with Hatley to share a mobile speed display sign, but first Potton dropped out then Gamlingay decided to use Speedwatch, making the cost of the original idea potentially untenable for Hatley.

The speed sign in Hatley.However – Hatley Parish Council not to be deterred, researched the costs of a mobile speed display sign and persuaded the County Council's Highways Department to help fund the cost of buying the sign just for use in Hatley.  Four locations were identified – at either end of East Hatley / Hatley St George on the Gamlingay / Croydon road and by / opposite the Village Hall and first started working in May 2017.

Alan Pinney does a terrific job in moving the sign from time to time and swapping over a charged for the discharged battery, while Kim Wilde downloads the statistical records of vehicle speeds.

Having proved to the Parish Council during three years of monitoring that speeding is a real issue (not that anyone doubted this, and situation has not changed since), the group has disbanded, the individuals – unpaid volunteers – having plenty of other things to do.

It appears the police aren't interested in the dry stats now available 24/7, preferring occasional Speedwatch sessions to prove to them speeding is an issue they should be 'doing something about'.  If someone else wants to form a new Speedwatch group (four is the sensible minimum), please do so.

Chris Brett and Bill Richardson kindly took the photographs.

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Hatley now has
superfast broadband

It's official!  At a village meeting on 25th February 2016 representatives from Connecting Cambridgeshire and BT announced Hatley St George and East Hatley will be superfast broadband enabled in March 2017.  (In fact, it first became available around May 2017.)

Even better was the news we will have fibre connections to our homes, rather than fibre to a box and then copper wire to each house – all-fibre gives a better signal, ability to offer a range of speeds from 25 Mbps to 300 Mbps (you can choose according to how much you want to pay) and is future proof.

Those speeds compare with a best of around 2 Mbps with the current BT connection (itself an improvement over 12 months ago).

However, this is only a broadband connection and nothing to do with phone land line connections, which will remain as they are – but a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connection via broadband will be available and should eliminate any quality issues with the current land line cables, which in East Hatley are mostly aluminium rather than copper.

Having made a feasibility study – which led to the March 2017 forecast – BT now has to go through the detailed planning, manufacturing and scheduling stages, so don't expect to see any action on the ground for some time, but there may be updates posted on the Connecting Cambridgeshire website (the link will take you to the Hatley page).

This is phase two of the government driven desire to have the UK superfast broadband enabled – phase one ended in December 2015, phase two being a mop up of areas like Hatley which missed out in what is and was a highly complex engineering operation.

The cost of installing the fibre connections to Hatley (and your house if you want it) is paid for via government and County Council grants and a return by BT of some of the profits from phase one.

If you do want to be connected, you'll need to do so via your internet provider (it doesn't have to be BT) to link your property to the nearest 'manifold' – most likely on a telegraph pole.

BT / Connecting Cambridgeshire have promised to come back in about six months to update the Parish Council on progress with this project.

Just one proviso in all this – properties which are too far off the beaten track for there to be an economic case for fibre connection will, it was said, probably be offered an alternative solution (presumably satellite),but this won't be until after phase two is completed in June 2017.

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Carole's hour on the Fourth Plinth – see it here!

Allen Miller and Carole CooperOn 2nd October 2009, East Hatley resident Carole Cooper (right with her partner Allen Miller), was the star on the empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square.

You can see a recording of her as she struggled with the wind to erect her display while her companions on the ground made some helpful suggestions.  One of the rules of being on the plinth
Carole Cooper on the Fourth Plinthis that only one person at a time is allowed on – not even the driver of the mobile lift (right, taking Carole up) is allowed on.

"It was a wonderful experience and I'm glad I did it," she said afterwards. "And it wasn't nearly as scary as I expected – but It was a shame that the wind blew away
Carol Cooper on the Fourth Plinth half of my signs!  Still, it was a fantastic opportunity to promote our business of providing holidays for single parents with their children."

Carole was on the famous Fourth
Plinth (right), which is being occupied for an hour at a time by anyone who cares to make a
Carole Cooper od the Fourth Plinth name for themselves, charity or organisation – all part of the One & Other live artwork by sculptor Antony Gormley.  By the end of the show on 14 October, 2400 people will have stood on it during the 24 hours a day,100 days of the event.

Carole was chosen out of the 34,341 people who have so far applied.

"Carole used her hour to promote Small Families, our business," said Allen.  "While she was on the plinth, the rest of us offered balloons, sweets and literature to the watching audience – and despite the gusty wind, at least it didn't rain and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves."

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South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Biodiversity Strategy

A vision for the conservation of South Cambridgeshire’s biodiversity, 2006 to 2009

Biodiversity is a term used to describe the richness of the living environment around us.  South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Biodiversity Strategy, written by Rob Mungovan, its Ecology Officer, outlines how the Council will promote biodiversity, conservation and enhancement throughout its daily functions, both regulatory and advisory, in order to produce an ecologically diverse and sustainable local environment for the district.

The Strategy identifies the biodiversity resource considered as typical of our district and specific actions are proposed within the Strategy’s action plan.  It was approved by the Council on 28 September 2006 and is now Council Policy in support of the current Local Plan.  The intention is that the Biodiversity Strategy will eventually be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document in support of the new Local Development Framework.

Among the priority species are the water vole, great crested newt, house sparrow and barn owl, which are known to be within the parish of Hatley.  Other priority species in South Cambridgeshire are the otter, white-clawed crayfish and native black poplar tree.

Priority habitats are: rivers and streams; woodland; scrub; old orchards; hedgerows; farmland (arable); ponds; churchyards and cemeteries; parks, shelter beds and open spaces; lowland calcareous grassland; roadside verges; and meadows and pastures.

The parish of Hatley is in the ‘Natural area’ of the West Anglian Plain.

St Denis’ Church, East Hatley is one of the sites proposed for consideration as a ‘Local site’, an area within a village that provides local biodiversity and also people’s enjoyment of local biodiversity.

For more information, go to Biodiversity SPD(Supplementary Planning Document) .

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