Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Open meeting, in the Mill Road, Wednesday 19th February 2020 7:30pm

And see, further down, about another meeting on the previous evening.

St Philip’s Church, 185 Mill Rd, Cambridge CB1 3AN –next to the Co-op (Click to view map)

This public meeting will be led by Katie Thornburrow, Executive City Councillor for Planning.

Turn up – no pre-booking needed – hear what’s in store and ask questions. Have your say!

This plan will affect the way we live, work, travel and play in Cambridge over the next 20 years and beyond.

We are committed to growing our economy, and planning for new homes and jobs which meet the needs of all our community, and meeting the challenges we face.

But it’s not just about the economy or development: the Local Plan is an important tool to he|p us become a net zero carbon society, and to meeting our target of doubling biodiversity in the area.

Click for more information about Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
An introductory video from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

The big themes: biodiversity, climate change, wellbeing, homes, jobs, infrastructure…

Where to build?

Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The Big Debate

An evening of quickfire presentations from local groups and lively debate about the future of Greater Cambridge.

Tuesday 18th February 2020 18:30 – 21:00 GMT
Cambridge Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QB

As part of the ‘First Conversation’ consultation on the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan, local groups have been invited to share their ideas about the future of the Greater Cambridge Area. In a fun, quickfire format, eight local groups will present and debate their ideas, with a chance for you to pose your questions too.

Unlike the Mill Road meeting, booking is essential for The Big Debate.

The presentations will be highly visual, and will range from the provocative to the poetic and everything in between. The event will start at 6:30pm promptly, but you can arrive from 6pm to grab a seat and a drink before the start.

Places are limited. Greater Cambridge Shared Planning would like to limit the number of people who book but don’t show up and are charging a £3 deposit to secure your place, which will be refunded straight after the event.

Click to find out more and to book on EventBrite.

We’ll modify this post after the events. If you would like to send us a report please use this link to email us after the events, and we’ll add your to the post.

Shorter comments are also welcome, below, but should be polite.

Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle – what does it mean in practice?

We thought it would further our subscribers’ understanding to take a look at a recent blogpost from Antony Carpen, aka A Dragon’s Best Friend.

Responding to world record consumption of resources and materials
Click to view.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Antony’s excellent, thoughtful blog scroll down to the foot of his homepage and enter your email address.

You could also investigate his ‘Donate’ button…

You could also take a look at our Tread Lightly On The Earth page, and even add your own comments.


No, not the Rose Royce Car Wash disco song nor the Bosham Car Wash where unwary motorists ignore ‘Road Flooded at High Tide’ notices. No, this is a trainwash, no dancing and no delicious schadenfreude.

We are indebted to Hannah of Quash The Trainwash for the following press release…

Residents of Great Eastern Street, Cambridge, are fighting plans for Govia Thameslink Railway to build a huge industrial trainwash facility behind their homes in the middle of the Mill Road Conservation Area.

Govia Thameslink Railway has been quietly planning a 12 carriage train wash facility to be built behind homes on GES since 2018. Public engagement only started late 2019 and there has been little meaningful consideration taken for the health and amenity of residents on the street or the wider community. The trainwash is proposed to be immediately behind residents’ homes and in the middle of the Mill Road Conservation Area. This will affect Romsey and Petersfield residents, and anyone crossing the Mill Road Bridge.

I would hope that Govia Thameslink Railway and Network Rail reconsider this. It really shouldn’t be behind a residential street, a small street like Great Eastern Street with children and young families. Unfortunately something as massive as that is going to erode our wellbeing here.

Resident speaking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Breakfast with Kev Lawrence and Dotty McLeod 29/01/2020 (Fast forward to 1hr 08min for report and interviews)

The plans for the trainwash show it to be 33m long, 9m tall and 7m wide. In addition, a pump facility will be between back fences and the trainwash facility. The trainwash will be 25m from residents’ back fences and gardens. Residents are shocked and angry with the latest information that Govia Thameslink Railway did not need to apply for planning permission at all for such a huge building so close to a residential area. GTR claim that while the Mill Road bridge expansion required planning permission, the trainwash falls under ‘Permitted Development’ and thus did not require full scrutiny. Cllr Dave Baigent has been active on the matter and sits on the City Planning Committee and notes it did not come before that decision-making body.

There is no doubt that the city council would have really serious reservations about building this if it were subject to planning permission… they could have put this outside of the city. This is right in the middle of Cambridge city, it doesn’t need to go at the end of people’s back gardens.

Cllr Dave Baigent speaking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Breakfast with Kev Lawrence and Dotty McLeod 29/01/2020 (Fast forward to 1hr 08min for report and interviews)

Govia Thameslink Railway claim that noise from the trainwash will be 40dB measured at the fence line of the closest resident, but has not released the modelling or its assumptions. Residents are concerned that the modelling does not include all the relevant noises: trains moving through the facility, mechanical brushes, water and chemical spraying and pump engine sounds. Govia Thameslink Railway is proposing that this facility will be in use 24/7, with approximately 4 trains per hour (washes takes about 10 minutes per train), and peak time in the late evening and early morning. As well as noise pollution, there will be chemicals being used but little information has been forthcoming about this.

For more information, head to the Quash The Trainwash website, where you can also download posters, two of which are displayed below. And follow @QuashTrainwash on Twitter.

Click to download printable PDFs
Click to download printable PDFs

To support the folks of Great Eastern Street, you could sign their on-line petition, here.

And, maybe, you could email them to offer your help in their campaign.

The next official public consultation/open evening hosted by Govia Thameslink Railway, Network Rail, Spencer Group and Greater Anglia will be Monday 24 Feb at 18:30 at the Salvation Army Building, 3 Tenison Rd, Cambridge CB1 2DG.

Mill Road News Nº25

Can you help?

Some of our latest newsletters

Our volunteers distribute 5,500 copies to residents in and around Mill Road and to local shops, cafés and pubs. Could you help us? Additional volunteer distributors are always welcome, and we especially need help in Romsey Town.

If you think that you could help, please click this link to email us.

The first issue of the decade (Nº25) should be printed and ready for distribution by late February 2020.

Four times per year, the non-profit community group, Mill Road Bridges, produce a lively local newsletter focussing on different aspects of life in and around Cambridge’s Mill Road. You can view and download past editions here: Newsletter downloads.

Perhaps you would like to become more active in the Mill Road community, by joining our steering committee and helping contribute to planning future editions of Mill Road News. If so, please email us to offer your support and involvement in Mill Road Bridges.

Ironworks, Mill Road

Image from ‘Ironworks‘ website

THE redevelopment of the former Mill Road Depôt site by Cambridge Investment Partnership, an equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships is proceeding apace.

Ironworks is the first mixed tenure housing scheme to be delivered by the Partnership, and will include 182 homes, 50% of them new council homes.

We can’t give constant updates, unless there’s a particular community aspect to inform local people about, or to discuss. Named ‘Ironworks‘ the official site can be reached by clicking on the image below.

Click the image to visit the site.

Cambridge Investment Partnership is an equal joint venture between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships. It has been set up to take forward the redevelopment of council and other land to help meet the need for housing, in particular to deliver 500 new council rented homes across the city.

This City Council press release, dated 7th January 2020, is exactly what we’d like to keep you informed about.


A new partnership of local community organisations has been appointed by Cambridge City Council to manage the new community centre that will be built as part of the ‘Ironworks’ housing scheme on the former Mill Road Depot site. Click through for further details.

This is just one of the new developments being progressed by Cambridge Investment Partnership. To learn more about them all, you may find this article Joint venture tackling housing shortage in Cambridge in Local Authority Building And Maintenance, dated 10th January 2020, of interest.


Image on Ironworks website

A NEW partnership of local community organisations has been appointed by Cambridge City Council to manage the new community centre that will be built as part of the ‘Ironworks’ housing scheme on the former Mill Road Depôt site.

Romsey Mill Trust and Petersfield Area Community Trust worked collaboratively to submit a successful tender to secure an initial 11-year lease to run the new community building for local residents and community groups to use. 

The council has appointed an operator for the building at this early stage so that they can help to inform the specification for the individual spaces in the new centre.

The new centre is being funded by S106 developer contributions, will be fully accessible, and will provide much needed community facilities and meeting spaces for Petersfield ward, including:

  • A large hall for community events
  • Meeting rooms
  • A community kitchen, and 
  • An outdoor space. 

The centre will be built in the final phase of the Ironworks scheme and is due to open in August 2021. 

In addition to the new community centre, the scheme will include 182 homes, 50% of them new council homes. 

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “We are delighted that Petersfield Area Community Trust and Romsey Mill Trust, two organisations embedded in the local community, have been appointed to manage the new community centre at Mill Road.

“This is a part of the city that has long needed more community facilities. Together with Petersfield Area Community Trust and Romsey Mill Trust, we will now work closely with local residents to help shape plans for the new centre, to ensure it provides services and facilities that people really want.”

Add your comments below…

Cam Valley forum Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be on Tuesday 10 March 2020, in the David Attenborough Building (click for map) Pembroke St, Cambridge CB2, with exciting guest speaker.

    David Brooks, Editor, Cam Valley Matters

And why is this relevant to Cambridge’s Mill Road? Read on…

Save our local chalk stream!

Those of us who have ventured to the far end of Mill Road to Burnside, and along Snakey Path during the summer, will have seen the poor state of Cherry Hinton Brook. This was highlighted in a YouTube video by local citizen blogger Antony Carpen.

Cam Valley Forum reports:

During the 2019 summer, the dry weather reduced our River Cam to little more than an elongated pond with a pathetic tickle over the weirs at Jesus Green. Some of the Cam tributaries dried up, many only flowing because they have been augmented by water from sewerage works

How to Save Water, and the Cam posted 9th December 2019

Whist BBC journalist Mark Williamson Tweeted about the Granta/Cam at Grantchester.

And Feargal Sharkey reported Environment Agency information.

The latest Cam Valley Forum newsletter is shown below.

Click the image to view/download a PDF of the newsletter

Earlier Cam Valley Forum Newsletters can be viewed/downloaded here.

Kiss Old Hitler?

The story of a Cambridge family during World War Two

A new book from an author with many local connections, Marjory Francis
Click the image to order from Waterstones

Up to his chest in seawater, surrounded by floating body parts, and attacked by German planes, Fred distracted himself by thinking of his family at home. But his thoughts inevitably returned to Angele, the beautiful French girl he had met and fallen in love with in autumn 1939. ‘I could almost kiss old Hitler for what he’s done for me’ he wrote to his sister Amy. But that was before he had to run for his life towards Dunkirk, and now would he and Angele ever see each other again?

And what of the rest of the family? How would Mum Nell, Dad Jim, sisters Ida and Amy, and brother Basil fare in this terrible war?

Extract from ‘Kiss Old Hitler?’

For many years I have been thinking of writing the story of my mother’s family during WW2. My grandparents lived in Hemingford Road and although they were a very ordinary family (two daughters and two sons), in those extraordinary times things happened to make an interesting story: a soldier meeting the love of his life in France, the beloved being left behind in occupied territory, Dunkirk, the Falkland Islands, RAF training in Canada, being shot down, a prison camp, doodlebugs – and even Lord Haw Haw features!

The reason for the intriguing title is explained on the cover and early on in the story.

The book is based on family letters and reminiscences and is written as a novel.

Mill Road, Hemingford Road and St Philip’s Church all feature. This has been a labour of love for me, not a money-making enterprise, and I’m sure many people knowing the area today would be interested to read it.

The book can be obtained from Waterstones (I am hoping the Cambridge store will stock it) or Amazon.

All profits will go to cancer research.

Author, Marjory Francis, by email.

Click here to order from Amazon.
Click here to order from Waterstones.
If purchasers order from Waterstones, it might encourage them to stock the book in their Cambridge store.

VE Day 75th Anniversary in Cambridge

Grants available for community commemorations

May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the official end of World War II in Europe.

Image on website

The Early May Bank Holiday will move from Monday 4th to Friday 8th May. Events will take place around the country throughout the three-day weekend, to commemorate everybody who contributed to the war effort.

Locally, grants of up to £500 are available to help pay for events to celebrate the VE anniversary. Cambridge community groups, voluntary organisations and groups of local residents can apply.

Many people in Britain didn’t wait for the official day of celebration and began the festivities as soon as they heard the news on 7th May.

But it was not the end of the conflict, nor was it an end to the impact the war had on people. The war against Japan did not end until August 1945, and the political, social and economic repercussions of the Second World War were felt long after Germany and Japan surrendered.

Click the image to download the guidelines in PDF format.

We are pleased to let you know that small grants of up to £500 are available for community groups, voluntary organisations and groupings of local residents organising events and activities celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on 8th-10th May 2020.

Click through for the guidelines, monitoring form* and application form. The deadline for applications is 20th April 2020. We would be very grateful if you could share this information with your networks and anyone who may be interested.

For further information and to discuss an application please email Melanie and the grants team or phone them on 01223 457875

Melanie Baker, Grants Officer, Cambridge City Council [amended]
Note: The *monitoring form is essential to ensure that public money (yours, your friends and your neighbours’) is not mis-spent, particularly in any partisan, party-political way.