Report on Cambridge Ahead Event: The Future of Cambridge 16 June 2018 by Wendy Blythe

A number of FeCRA members attended this event at which Matthew Bullock of Cambridge Ahead and Dr Ying Jin of Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture presented modelling scenarios that the business group Cambridge Ahead have been developing with Cambridge University for the future of Cambridge.

Professor Peter Landshoff kindly circulated a summary of the presentation (see next post). There is also an excellent slide presentation of the modelling scenarios which I can forward as an attachment. Matthew Bullock stressed that the model that Dr Ying Jin and Dr Andy Cosh of Cambridge University have come up with is very complex. They will need to come up with a price for running the model with different input parameters. The partnership between Cambridge Ahead and Cambridge University is a commercial one. Cambridge Ahead will control the access to the model and they intend to charge e.g. planning authorities, ONS (Office of National Statistics) and developers to use their model.

The business group is working very closely with the Cambridge planners. The modelling assumption is for a much higher level of growth and lots more houses to be built; it gives a strong lead on where houses will be built. About 40% of the group’s members are in the development sector, membership also includes landowners – University, Colleges. Project Groups include Council officers including officers from Cambridgeshire County Council, one of the biggest Cambridgeshire landowners. Members pay £10,000 each to join the group. RAND, another CA member, was funded by members to collect the clusterdata .

Questions were raised about local government and accountability. Stephen Kelly, Joint Director of Planning for South Cambs and Cambridge reports to Rachel Stopard, Chief Exec of the GCP. Transport is tied up with development. At the meeting the presenters referred to ‘No holds barred growth scenarios’. A number of people have pointed out the slide shown for the densification scenario assumes Trumpington Meadows would be developed alongside Cambridge South station. Some commented there is nothing in the modelling assumptions on sustainability and environmental capacity.

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