Cambridge is Full
After 20 years enjoying having Cambridge as the centre of my life, I was finding the quality of life deteriorating. The Cambridge sub-region has a planning deficit. I.e. The Councillors and Planners are failing to develop the region in a balanced and structured way. The first task was to get strategic planning on the public agenda.
With the support of Bob Satchwell, the then editor of The Cambridge Evening News. we ran a series of articles and opinion pieces, lead by my front page opinion piece, "Cambridge is Full"
As a result of the debate, an ad-hoc group "Cambridge Horizons" set about writing the Cambridge 2020 report. Wile I was one of the "founders" of this group, The group decided to split the task into functional teams looking at Housing, Transportation, Retail etc. rather than my view of spiting the work into potential solutions; Densification, Building on Green Belt, Necklace villages, New Town. As a result I concluded that my energy would be better spent working on one of the solutions, rather than contributing to the Horizons agenda.
Cambridge New Town Corp plc
With councillors and planners expressing the opinion that New Town's were not worthy of consideration, I decided to make the best argument for building a new town. We set about constructing the best case, based on choosing a financially viable location ( Oakington Airfield, Longstanton, owned by the MoD).
We presented our case to the examination in public of the Cambridgeshire County Structure plan.The Planning Inspectorate, included "Northstowe" as a New Town in the final structure plan!
Winning the Battle, losing the War
Realising that once the New Town was policy, Developers, Planners and Councillors would create a procedural nightmare, I withdrew from active involvement in the New Town. Selling CNTC plc to the developers Gallaghers.
16 years on and not a brick had been laid! Cambridge is getting ever worse, due to the unstructured unbalanced development. Quality of life centred on Cambridge had deteriorated to the extent that I decided to move, to Ely, A small town a few miles north of Cambridge, where the quality of life was improving, rather than deteriorating.