Councilors are being advised by agents of the South Cambridgeshire District Council to oppose plans to build a new Cambridge South rail station.
Officers expressed concerns to Network Rail claimants that construction of the new station could result in loss of trees.
They also asked for more clarity on how Network Rail would deliver a proposed 10% net biodiversity gain and expressed concerns about the noise impact of construction on residents.
Cllr Neil Gough, Senior Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transportation, said: “Cabinet colleagues will consider the recommendations made by our planning officers on how the council should formally represent its views during the public inquiry. at the request of Network Rail to the Secretary of State. for transport for the Cambridge South Infrastructure Improvement Program – which would see the construction of a new station on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, as well as associated improvements to the West Anglia Main Line.
“The council supports the program in principle as it aligns with the objectives of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018 to promote sustainable economic growth and maximize sustainable modes of transport. However, some additional information on key questions the council requested is still pending – for example whether the request provides sufficient information to demonstrate that the 10 percent net biodiversity gain target is achievable – which has led to planning officers to recommend that the council oppose the scheme until this is sufficiently proven. On Monday, we will review the report from our planning officers, which will detail the responses received regarding our concerns.
“Cabinet will then vote on whether to confirm the council’s response, which is set out in the ‘public statement’ included in the report, which will allow the council’s position to be effectively represented at the public inquiry in from February 2022.. “
Network Rail is seeking permission to construct a new two-story, four-platform station on the West Anglia main line, as well as facilities such as a ticket office, toilets and 1,000 bicycle parking spaces. He also asked for permission to reshape the track layout and the southern approach to Cambridge station, update the Shepreth branch junction and close two level crossings, providing alternative access.
A new station would link the Cambridge biomedical campus to potential destinations such as central London, London Stansted Airport, Ely, Birmingham and Europe via London St Pancras.
Network Rail said: “Network Rail engaged directly with stakeholders prior to the public inquiry. As the public inquiry begins shortly, we are unable to comment further at this time. “
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