How do you feel about house building?

A survey being conducted by our MP, Anthony Browne


Photograph of new houses in Swavesey to illustrate the survey by Anthony Browne MP about house building in South Cambridgeshire, February 2021.

Anthony Browne, our MP, wants to know what we think about new house building in South Cambs via his South Cambridgeshire Development Survey.

Survey by Anthony Browne MP about house building in South Cambridgeshire, February 2021.

Anthony Browne’s survey is being posted to everyone in South Cambs.

It is being posted to every household in his South Cambs constituency and highlights barriers to sustainable growth, seeking views on a range of topics related to future development.

“I particularly want to understand residents’ views on key planning issues, such as water supply, digital connectivity, public transport and community services,” he says. “My survey also takes consultation into account, asking if you feel you are being ‘listened to’ on planning issues.”

South Cambs faces huge barriers to sustainable growth while remaining one of the fastest growing areas in the UK. This includes two new towns in the last two decades, Cambourne and Northstowe – the largest new town to be built in Britain in the last 50 years. It is leading to urbanisation, more pressure on local services, increased congestion and water shortages.

Commuting only – or will there be jobs locally?

On 1st February South Cambridgeshire District Council announced plans for the next stage of a new town north of Waterbeach making around 11,000 new houses in all, describing it as ‘a significant step forward in the Local Plan aspirations for the new town’.

Waterbeach is off the A10, so not of direct concern to us in Hatley – unlike the Thakeham’s speculative proposal for a 25,000 house new town in the Wimpole-Orwell-Barrington-Meldreth-Shepreth-Whaddon area.

None of these proposals appear to include enticing industry to set up locally – commuting is presumably considered to be okay.

SCDC asked to keep house building to a sustainable level

Mr Browne has repeatedly raised concerns with SCDC about over development, writing a letter to the leader to ask that the council does not seek to build any more houses than required by national government targets.

He has also queried recent moves by the council to reduce democratic accountability in the planning process and is continuing to campaign against the over-abstraction which has decimated local chalk streams.

He said: “Growth is to be expected and encouraged, but it is essential residents’ views are heard when it comes to the level of that growth.”

Cut through the numbers

“Where and how we build new houses in South Cambridgeshire is being worked out right now,” he added, “but we need to cut through the numbers and listen to those who will be most impacted by any proposals.

“We need to seek sustainability, so everyone has total confidence that our area can cope with levels of development – that we won’t face water shortages, congestion or any other irreparably adverse impact on our quality of life in South Cambs.

I’m asking everyone to please fill in this survey, so I can best represent your views and ensure your voice is heard in this important debate.”

Post created 1st February 2021.