One of the Spotlight Groups is looking at Greenbelt and Countryside Access. The need for a group focussing on these issues was clear from the wide variety of comments received in the initial public engagement activities.

This group met on 18th October 2016, following the public meeting. Here are Minutes NP Green Belt and Access Group 18.10.16 of that meeting.

Stapleford Ford Stapleford Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan Spaces Poster

The approach to Green Belt and Public Access

The Green Belt and Public Access Spotlight Group is one of the four groups developing material for the Neighbourhood Plan.  Our focus here is on the countryside surrounding the villages which provides both a setting for the villages, separates them from the city of Cambridge and is a resource for public recreation and enjoyment.  Our area includes sites of significant value to wider communities, such as Wandlebury and Magog Down.  It is also, of course, the workplace for those who farm the land.

The aim of the material here is to promote discussion and the exchange of views as to what might go into the Neighbourhood Plan.  This follows several sessions where local residents have indicated what they would like to see in the countryside.

The evidence base

We have prepared a document that sets outlines a possible vision and objectives, records suggestions that have been made in previous meetings and consultations, draws together the evidence that has been assembled so far and suggests next steps.  This is all for discussion and not seeking to commit us to any particular approach.  You can access this document here, Preliminary approach and evidence base 16-2-2018

We need a ‘vision’, perhaps:

A well maintained and accessible countryside surrounding the villages, separating the villages from the city of Cambridge, protecting views across the landscape, conserving wildlife and environmental values and providing attractive opportunities for public access.

Possible objectives for the Neighbourhood Plan:

We need to set out specific objectives, such as to secure and enhance public access into the countryside and to link areas of high conservation and amenity values to enhance the overall recreational and environmental value of the countryside. These will be refined in the next stages of the work.

Ideas provided by members of the village communities as to what they might like to see in the Neighbourhood Plan are listed in the accompanying document.  These need to be developed and assessed to explore feasibility.

Next steps

We plan to liaise with local conservation landowners and with local residents to explore opportunities to enhance conservation and access in the area.  Where we see potential opportunities, we will also discuss them with the other landowners.

We will publicise information of future meetings once dates are confirmed.  But please do let us have any comments or thoughts through the neighbourhood Plan website.


Lynda Warth says:

Multiuser routes please not restrictive footpaths and cycle paths! The Cambs RoWIP states that the bridleway network is fragmented and in need of improvement. The creation of restrictive footpaths and cycle paths only serves to further fragment that network.

This has been highlighted a number of times before.