Monday, 18 February 2013

Councillors Challenges County Council Over Bramblefields


Liberal Democrat Councillor, Ian Manning is fighting to protect the character of Bramblefields nature reserve as plans are being discussed to make it a possible route for the new Science Park station.

Cllr Manning, who represents East Chesterton on Cambridgeshire County Council has challenged the council to come up with a series of improvement measures if the route goes ahead.

He is demanding clear benefits from the project and wants the people of East Chesterton to be in position to decide how the Bramblefields route progresses if it is chosen.

Cllr Manning is working with Cambridge City Councillor, Rod Cantrill after the county council suggested two major routes to the station via Moss Bank and Nuffield Road but also the third option through Bramblefields.  

"I've made it clear I'll oppose anything that will fundamentally change the character of Bramblefields,” said Cllr Manning, “but I think it is best to engage with the county council on this. I want to see what the council can offer us in East Chesterton to improve Bramblefields and sort out some of the ecological problems it has currently."

Ian is also concerned that the station project isn't seen in isolation. He claims the proposed Chisholm Trail Bridge may also have an impact on the nature reserve, so bolstering it now may pay off in the future.

"The Chisholm Bridge over the Cam will help reduce the vehicle traffic impact of the station on Chesterton, but will encourage access through Bramblefields to the north of the city,” he added. “Making some improvements to Bramblefields now could pay off in future. I doubt we will get these improvements if Bramblefields isn't chosen as a route."

Ian hopes that county council will come forward with a strong series of improvement measures which Cambridge City Council could decide to accept or reject.

The city council owns the nature reserve and Cllr Cantrill. Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Public Places will make the ultimate decision.

Cllr Cantrill said: “Bramblefields is protected and a valuable green space for wildlife and I don’t want to see the station project detract from that.

“But obviously the city council will discuss the county council’s proposals in full, in consultation with local residents and other stakeholders, and any improvement measures it puts forward for Bramblefields to make sure we get the right decision for the people of East Chesterton.”