Recent planning applications

The following planning applications in the Sutton division have been published by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

18/01302/OUT
Coveney
Meadow Croft Lodge 10A Gravel End Coveney CB6 2DN
Four dwellings, adapting the existing access from Gravel End and associated works.

18/01308/FUL
Coveney
8 Main Street Coveney CB6 2DJ
Demolition of existing garage and construction of new two storey extension.

18/01256/OUT
Little Downham
Site North east of Downham Lodge Second Drove Little Downham
2 four bed dwellings with double garages.

18/01193/FUL
Mepal
Land rear of 4 Bridge Road Mepal CB6 2AR
The demolition of an existing detached garage and the erection of a three bedroom dwelling with detached double garage and store room.

18/01297/FUL
Sutton
Unit 5 and 6 Sterling Place Elean Business Park Sutton
Cover building for packaging compactors to aid recycling.

18/01294/FUL
Witchford
Midway Garage 76-78 Main Street Witchford
Retrospective application for erection of a vehicle garage.

Further information can be found on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, comments should be addressed to the district council and not to me.  Comments may be made

  • online using the council’s public access webpage (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE.

Littleport to move to Norfolk in new constituency plans

Littleport will move from North East Cambridgeshire to a new Thetford and Downham Market parliamentary constituency, if proposals from the Boundary Commission are given the green light by MPs.

Sutton and the Downham Villages will remain in North East Cambridgeshire constituency, together with Fenland.

Meanwhile South East Cambridgeshire is set to lose Fulbourn, Linton and Teversham to South Cambridgeshire constituency, and gain Earith from Huntingdonshire.

Littleport will remain in East Cambridgeshire for district and county council purposes.

This is the Boundary Commission’s final report.  It will now be laid before Parliament, and a draft Order will be made for Parliament to approve (or reject).  After the Order has been made, the next General Election will take place on the new boundaries.  Any parliamentary by-elections in the meantime will take place on existing boundaries.

Plans for part of A14 upgrade to become a motorway

18 miles of the A14 – the stretch between the M11 and the A1(M) – could be reclassified as a motorway, and renamed the A14(M), once upgrade works have been completed, Highways England have announced today.

The move would create an unbroken motorway link between London and Peterborough, and would enable the introduction of variable speed limits to reduce congestion and help traffic move more smoothly.

Highways England will be asking the Planning Inspectorate to amend the road’s status from trunk road to motorway, in time for the project opening in 2020. The Secretary of State for Transport will then make the final decision next year.

If the change goes ahead, motorway status will also be extended to a three-mile section of the A1 from Alconbury to Brampton, which will be re-named the A1(M).

  • A14 website https://highwaysengland.co.uk/a14c2h
  • Twitter @HighwaysEast and @A14C2H
  • Facebook www.facebook.com/A14C2H/

Building work at Ely Library

News from Cambridgeshire County Council:

‘Work is due to commence on a new lift at Ely Library from Saturday 8 September until Wednesday 17 October. This work is essential to improve fire safety provision and provide accessibility for all. We are committed to minimising the disruption to our customers as much as possible, the latest information is as follows:

The Library will remain open, apart from the following days, 8, 10, 11 , 17 ,18 , 24  and 25 September and 1 ,2 ,8 , 9 , 13, 15 and 16 October. There will be a mobile library parked on Ely Market on Saturday 8 September and Saturday 13 October.

The lift will be unavailable during the duration of the works, however the ‘Library at Home’ service is offering temporary home visits to customers unable to access via the stairs and will deliver books to customers’ homes. There are posters and a contact number already displayed in the library to alert customers.

The out of hours book drop on the ground floor will remain open all day while the work is carried out and a telephone number will be displayed on the ground floor that is a direct line through to the library desk on the first floor. Customers who cannot access the library and who require assisted digital help with forms such as blue badge and bus pass applications, can arrange an appointment with library staff who will assist them at Ely Job Centre.

Staff are also working with the East Cambridgeshire access group to ensure they are aware of the special arrangements that are in place throughout this period.  The service are also working closely with our room hirers and partners to discuss access during closed periods to minimise any inconvenience.’

[Many thanks to Julie Elsey for the photograph of the diary with the library closure dates]

Recent planning applications

The following planning applications in the Sutton division have been published by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

18/01146/FUL
Little Downham
Site to north east of 20 Third Drove Little Downham
Resubmission for two four-bed dwellings (phased development).

18/01161/FUL
Witchford
Rear of 36 Manor Close Witchford CB6 2JB
New two-bed dwelling.

18/01136/FUL
Witcham
13A Silver Street Witcham CB6 2LF
Change of use of yard area from sheds sales, storage and parking to shed sales, car sales and parking.

Further information can be found on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, comments should be addressed to the district council and not to me.  Comments may be made

  • online using the council’s public access webpage (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE.

Recent planning applications

The following planning application in the Sutton division has been published by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

18/01040/FUM
Little Downham
Reservoir Head Fen Pymoor
New fishing lake, new access, four timber fishing lodges and one brick timber lodge.

This is a retrospective application for a development which has already taken place.

Further information can be found on the district council’s planning pages. If you would like to respond formally to the council about any planning application, comments should be addressed to the district council and not to me.  Comments may be made

  • online using the council’s public access webpage (the link above);
  • by email to plservices@eastcambs.gov.uk;
  • or by post to the Planning Department, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court stays open

Excellent news that Cambridge Magistrates’ Court is not to close after all.

In a written statement, Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke MP said today:

I have concluded that the proposal to close Cambridge Magistrates’ Court should be withdrawn. This proposal received the largest number of responses to the consultation and the decision to consult was a finely balanced one, not least because this is a court in a strategic centre serving a large surrounding area. There is excess court capacity in the area but, following new information regarding the likely proceeds of disposal and consideration of the cost of re-provision, I have concluded the value-for-money case for closure has not been made.

I proposed a motion to the County Council earlier this year, calling for Cambridge Magistrates’ Court to be kept open – but it was defeated when Conservative councillors failed to support it.

Image cc-by-sa/2.0 - © N Chadwick - geograph.org.uk/p/3896556

Level 3 heatwave warning issued in Cambridgeshire

With temperatures reaching 30C this week, people are being urged to take extra precautions and look out for those most vulnerable.

The Met Office has declared a Hot Weather Alert Level 3 in the East of England until 9:00AM on Friday, which means there is a high chance that an average temperature of 30C by day and 15C overnight will occur over the next two to three days.

Temperatures in Cambridgeshire are expected to be in the high 20Cs for the rest of this week and the weekend, with a 90 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have significant effects on health.

Hot weather can be uncomfortable for many people, but can be dangerous for the very old, very young and those with chronic illnesses who feel the effects more acutely.

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Hot weather is enjoyable for most people though for some it is uncomfortable. However, sadly experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can have a very serious effect upon your health. It is especially harmful for those with heart and lung problems with excessive heat leading to worsening of their condition. We’re asking people to look out for those at risk from high temperatures – the elderly, ill or the very young; to make sure they are able to keep cool.”

Here are some practical tips on how to stay cool and cope with the hot weather:

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler. But if it is cooler outside, then open your windows to let the cooler air in
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx.

Care worker shortage looms

An increase of 36 per cent in Cambridgeshire’s 10,000-strong social care workforce will be needed by 2030 if it is to grow in line with the rising number of over-65s in the county, we were told at a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults Committee on Thursday (19 July).

And that increase doesn’t take into account the need to replace care workers from EU countries outside Britain who currently provide care services in residents’ homes or in various adult care settings.  The report on the social care labour market points out that unemployment in Cambridgeshire is low, so most residents have other job options, and the weekly income of a care worker is less than one-third of the average weekly household income, in an area of the country with comparatively high living costs.

A survey of 15 per cent of Cambridgeshire’s social care staff in the independent sector showed that 24 per cent of them come from non-UK European Economic Area countries.  Many non-British EU citizens are already leaving the UK, and others may well find themselves with no options after March next year.  Replacing the massive contribution they make to our community, as well as meeting the growing needs of an ageing population, will be very difficult indeed.

I’ve been told that the situation in Essex and Suffolk appears to be if anything even worse, and the older population in Norfolk is growing fast.  Should we be convinced by the assurances of the committee chair that ‘the people are out there’ to fill the huge gaps looming in our adult care workforce—gaps which will suddenly be made even larger next year by Brexit?