Land at M11, west of Hauxton Road, Trumpington
Cambridge Fans United (CFU) is the trust which represents supporters of Cambridge United Football Club (CUFC). As such, it wishes to comment on the proposal to create a Sporting Village on land adjacent to the M11 in Trumpington and, in particular, to support the proposal wholeheartedly.
The rapid expansion of Cambridge and the surrounding areas of Cambridgeshire has brought, and will continue to bring, a significant number of additional residential developments with many new houses and flats either recently completed or set to be occupied over the next few years. Whilst some amenities have been and are being provided in association with most of these, there is a notable absence of the sort of sporting opportunities which are being proposed in this application.
The range of sports which would be available to the public, if consent is granted to the scheme, is wide and, as we see it, flexible, as elements of the sporting village are adaptable and capable of hosting a wide variety of sporting uses. This would make the Trumpington Sporting Village a fantastic resource for almost all ages and it could act as a real trigger for people from all walks of life to become fit and maintain their fitness, which is an important requirement in the modern age.
Good sports provision in South Cambridgeshire is, currently, in very short supply and frequently has limits on access to more than a limited audience. This proposal addresses that in a really effective way and offers the potential for something rather special and unique, which should not be underestimated in its potential to assist in promoting health and wellbeing in the area.
As supporters of CUFC, CFU also has the future interests and welfare of the football club very much in mind. Cambridge United is the premier football club in the Cambridge area, with attendances at matches rising and attracting a wide range of support including, particularly, an increasing percentage of families. It also undertakes a surprisingly large range of work with youngsters in the community, through sporting activities and its work with schools and also underprivileged young people. This is achieved, very often, with minimal resources and supporting facilities.
The creation of a sporting village at Trumpington would help to transform the ability of the football club to deliver really good quality courses, training and life skills, which will benefit many communities, locally.
These great and much needed sporting facilities will be provided at no cost to the public purse, and funded by the construction of additional housing, adjacent to the recently developed area of Trumpington Meadows. This, in itself, will assist in avoiding the need to provide new housing sites in other South Cambs villages and assist the district council in achieving its government-set targets for accommodation.
It is understood that the proposed development sits within the green belt, and there will be a reluctance to allow development unless it can be shown that the proposals are appropriate and suitable for the location. This site does appear to be the right place for the proposed development, as it adjoins existing housing and there is the potential for the necessary infrastructure to be provided, with relatively minimal disruption. The land owner, Grosvenor, has a record of delivering high quality developments and not shrinking away from providing the full quota of 40% of affordable housing, unlike some others.
The present quality of the green belt in this location is not the best, and it does not present a particularly striking picture as one approaches it from the south.
This view, it can be argued, may improve with the creation of the sporting village and the development of the country park alongside it, especially where it abuts the M11. The M11, itself, provides a significant transport link which, taken together with the close proximity of the Trumpington Park & Ride site and the Guided Busway, addresses the question of traffic and parking, which is always a potentially difficult issue for new developments.
CFU supports proposals within the city of Cambridge for a transformation of the existing Cambridge United FC ground in the Abbey Ward into a Community Stadium for the benefit not only of the football club but also parts of Cambridge which are underprovided with sporting and other community facilities. The potential success of that project relies, substantially, on the granting of consent for this proposal. Whilst realising that this proposal itself must be considered on its own merits, CFU believes that the two schemes taken together, do represent significant and, really, once in a lifetime opportunities for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire which may not arise again. The alternative may well be a decline in the club’s ability to deliver on its programmes and, even threaten its future, altogether, with the knock on effect on the health and fitness of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire people.
CFU sees this proposal as an exciting opportunity for the area to acquire a set of sporting facilities which are unrivalled locally, and which would provide something special for many years to come and it urges Members to support the proposal.
Robert Osbourn, Chairman, Cambridge Fans United
8th September 2016
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