District Council Report, March 2021: Cllr Peter McDonald

South Cambs Budget/Council Tax

The Council agreed a £5 per year increase for the average band D home for the next financial year. The increase will see the average band D home charge for South Cambridgeshire District Council increase to £155.31 per year.

South Cambridgeshire District Council estimates that the cost of dealing with the pandemic so far has been approximately £2.35 million. This is mainly due to increased spending on PPE, additional staff members to help in several areas such as community response, processing business grants and Council Tax support and new software for administering grants. The Council has received £1.9 million in Government grants to help it deal with increased spending due to Coronavirus.

Due to the continuing financial pressure on the Council, the proposals include around £5.1million worth of savings during the next four years, with £2.2 million in savings and income already identified.

Around half of the Council’s annual budget of just under £20 million comes from local Council Tax.

Covid 19 Support for Business in Lockdown 3

Grants Status: £8,932,592 paid has been paid to 3,863 business since November+ grants opened. The majority continues to be the main LRSG schemes and the Closed Business Lockdown payments. Hardship: we are not yet seeing signs of hardship applications slow down, in fact, we had a flurry of 70 in first week of March. This week, we’ve had a flurry of activity from Taxi Drivers, Driving Instructors and Mobile Hairdressers in particular. Echoing last week’s email, there continues to be a wider variety of applicants in general, mostly micro businesses and many sole traders. For example, in March we’ve had a clinical psychologist who mainly works within education settings ask for help, as have we a bookmaker.

Bourn Airfield Outline Approval

Plans for a new village of around 3,500 homes on the former World War Two Airfield at Bourn have been supported by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee.

40% of the new homes will be classed as affordable – in line with the Council’s Local Plan policies. These homes will be a mixture of affordable rent, shared ownership, rent to buy and discount market sale. A wide range of new community facilities will come forward, including a new secondary school, two primary schools, community centres and playing fields.

A £20-million package to support local transport upgrades is part of the plans and includes walking, cycling and bus routes and electric car charging points. There will be woodlands, wildlife habitat areas, grassland, allotments and community orchards.

The Committee met Friday 19 February to discuss the application from developers Countryside. They voted to support proposals for the new community on 210 hectares of land between Cambourne and Caldecote. The site is one of the new settlements that was allocated for development as part of the Council’s 2018 Local Plan, with this application being the next stage in bringing the plans forward.

The area is a mixture of previously developed land and agricultural fields. As part of the development, there will also be shops, offices, healthcare, nurseries, library, place of worship and a hotel.

The development will be governed by a range of conditions covering transport, protecting the environment and ecology, the quality of the buildings and more. Additionally, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority continue to work on delivering a new public transport system that will link the development with Cambourne and Cambridge.

Earlier this year, the District Council’s Planning Committee approved plans for new commercial buildings on the former Gestamp Factory on the airfield. The applicant estimated that the redevelopment of this old factory site would create up to 800 new, full time jobs.

A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which gives more detail on how the new village should come forward, was adopted by the Council in September 2019 following a public consultation. The SPD says the new development should be well connected with traffic-free, active travel routes and high-quality public transport, both locally, to Cambridge and ultimately St Neots. It also outlines how it should be vibrant, prosperous and inclusive with housing for all, schools, sports and leisure, community uses, shops and jobs.

Comments are closed.