4 - A Vision for Great Gransden Neighbourhood Plan area

DRAFT VERSION - last revised 20 March 2021. This section of the plan is also available in PDF form.

Please give us some feedback! Email your comments to gg.2020vision@gransdens.org.

Our vision for Great Gransden in 2036 is distilled from the comments, consultation and engagement of the residents and other stakeholders. It is consistent with the statutory requirements of the Huntingdonshire Local Plan and the NPPF.

Great Gransden Neighbourhood Plan Vision

  • Great Gransden will continue to thrive as a vibrant rural village, with a diverse population and a highly engaged community.  The village will develop in a sustainable, evolutionary manner, such that the parish’s rural nature and character are maintained.

  • New houses will provide a diversity of housing stock to support a broadly-based community. The focus will be small developments on brownfield and infill sites. Preservation of our built heritage, especially the conservation area, will continue to be of key importance. The design of new houses will be sympathetic to the rural character of the village.

  • Great Gransden enjoys a very strong sense of community, characterised by many diverse societies, social events and facilities. These societies will thrive, with new societies and events to reflect the developing interests of the community. Sports facilities will be upgraded to be more inclusive, with a particular focus on facilities for children and young adults.

  • Essential village facilities and social hubs, including Barnabas Oley Primary School, the shop, Crown and Cushion pub, St Bartholomew’s church, the Reading Room and Lighthouse Café, will be valued and supported, further strengthening their contribution to our community. 

  • Conservation and managed development of the natural environment around the parish will result in even more abundant wildlife and higher biodiversity. Improvements to the network of footpaths will give better access to the countryside, including the SSSI Gransden Wood. A network of green corridors will contribute to the Cambridgeshire wildlife strategy. New public access areas will be sought in the village to provide opportunities for recreation.

  • All new developments in the village will be designed to facilitate pedestrian and cycling access around the village. Pavements will be upgraded to improve road safety.

  • A plan for the transition to net zero carbon will be developed and implemented.

  • Internet and phone communication systems will be upgraded to underpin and encourage local businesses and home-based workers.
The vision is underpinned by a set of objectives which can be organised by theme:
The Great Gransden NP will include policies which facilitate the delivery of the housing requirement figure provided to it by the district. New growth will be focussed on providing deliverable and sustainable developments in the parish, supported by necessary infrastructure

How will we achieve this:

  • We will make provision for at least 49 to 70 new homes (both market and affordable) during the period 2011 to 2036.
  • We will define a settlement boundary within the plan to help maintain a sustainable pattern of future development.
  • The priority will be for brownfield development and infill.
  • New proposed developments must be integrated into the village, with access to everyday services and facilities by sustainable modes of travel including walking, cycling and public transport.
  • The rate and scale of development must not threaten the essential village character, rather it will help support and maintain the infrastructure of the village, including Barnabas Oley Primary School, Playgroup, Nursery, village shop, pub, St Bartholomew’s Church and the essential social and leisure facilities including the Reading Room, Sports Field, Playground, Lighthouse Cafe and access to the countryside.

Theme: A Rural and Historic Village

New development must be of a high quality and sensitive to the key characteristics of Great Gransden taking cues from existing designs.

The Conservation Area and its essential character will be conserved or enhanced.

How will we achieve this:

  • Developments should have a similar density to existing dwellings, and include an appropriate sized garden plot.
  • The emphasis will be on smaller infill developments and the development of Brownfield sites, with a similar housing density to existing developments, whilst maintaining the essential rural character.
  • Greenfield development will not be supported unless in exceptional circumstances, consistent with the HDC local Plan.
  • Buildings should be restricted to 1 ½ or 2 storeys in height.
  • Developments on the periphery of the Village must be designed to blend in with the open countryside rather than being incongruous to it. Edge of village developments could include barn style buildings using traditional materials with perhaps traditional tiled gable roofs and horizontal feather edge cladding.
  • Development within the conservation area must not detract from the street scene and natural environment.
  • Development of Listed Buildings must enhance and complement the existing structure, not necessarily replicate
  • Development must not affect the street views of, and from, the Conservation Area.
  • Proposed infill development would be assessed on a case by case basis, consistent with HDC Local Plan Policies LP9.

Theme: Natural environment

Existing areas of important semi-natural habitats within the parish and the biodiversity that they support will be effectively protected.

The biodiversity value of existing areas of semi-natural habitats should be enhanced and lost habitats restored where possible. Protection and habitat enhancement will be targeted to areas which increase their connectivity across the landscape and thus their viability and long-term sustainability.

How will we achieve this:

  • Support the efforts of the Wildlife Trust to effectively protect the Ancient Woodland of Gransden Wood that are under their control while maintaining public access.
  • Liaise with owners of other parts of Gransden Wood to find ways of supporting efforts to effectively protect these areas.
  • Other areas of woodland and scrub cover in the parish (e.g. small copses, old hedgerows, etc.), especially those that support ancient woodland indicator species, will be recognised and effectively protected and managed.
  • Ensure all surviving areas of good quality Unimproved Neutral Grassland in the parish are identified, suitably recognised (e.g. as County Wildlife Sites, where appropriate) and protected.
  • Identify opportunities to restore the quality of existing areas where their biodiversity has been reduced by past management but there is still good potential for recovery (e.g. re-establishing the species richness of existing hay meadows).
  • Identify opportunities to re-establish new areas of semi-natural habitat and where appropriate to replace some of those that have been lost.
  • Support the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds Strategic Project (as recognised in the LP3 policy (4.36) of the Huntingdonshire Local Plan adopted in May 2019) to improve the management of the woods and increase connectivity between the existing areas of semi-natural woodland within the parish and between woodland areas in neighbouring parishes.
  • Identify opportunities to increase green infrastructure and connectivity between a mosaic of semi-natural habitats within the parish (including woodland, hay meadows, pastureland, etc.). A particular focus will be to explore possible ways to enhance the green connectivity between the ancient woodland and the village, the green arc-shaped corridor along the valley of the Gransden Brook and to other nearby areas of semi-natural habitats.

Theme: Open space

Maintain and protect key areas of green space within the village and elsewhere in the parish where these are valued by the community for their amenity and recreational value and/or rural landscape value.

Increase in the quality and quantity of accessible open space within the parish, to enable local people to experience a wider enjoyment of the Gransden countryside and the associated recreational and health benefits.

Improve access to the countryside whilst fully respecting the rights of private landowners and legitimate uses of the land.

How will we achieve this:

  • Protect the existing recognised open spaces of the Sportsfield, Playing Field. Allotments, Mill Weir.
  • Identify shortages in the existing open space provision (e.g. limited dog walking opportunities, lack of circular routes) and highlight where improvements are most needed.
  • Identify and fund ways to protect green spaces in the parish, by Local Green Space and Open Space policies.
  • Work with local landowners to identify and protect other potential open spaces which may be suitable for informal outdoor recreation, seeking benefits both for landowners and residents.
  • Seek opportunities to increase on-site open space provision in new developments or contributions towards new areas of open space elsewhere in the village.
  • Develop a plan for improving the PROW in the parish (as a contribution towards and in line with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan, first published 2006 as part of the Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan 2006-2011 and then updated in 2016).
  • Identify and explore options for improving public access to the countryside, including the use of Permissive Routes and other equivalent processes that might be agreed with the owners and managers of the land.

Theme: Transport and Road Safety Improvements

Traffic impacts of new development in the plan area will be managed to ensure safe movement around the village for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

A prioritised programme of improvements will be implemented, to enhance road safety for all road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.

How will we achieve this:

  • New development must be provided with adequate off street parking. As the current trend is for garages to be used as storage, play area or workshops, garages space is not to be considered as off-street parking.
  • Roads within new developments must be wide enough to enable delivery and emergency service vehicles to have ready access to all properties and open areas even if all on-street parking areas are occupied. Developers are encouraged to ensure all new roads are made to adoptable standards.
  • New multiple-property developments are required to ensure that the road network leading to the property is suitable for the number and size of vehicles that are likely to be accessing the site during the course of the development.
  • New multiple-property developments to have safe pavements both within the development and linking to the main parts of the village. Developers are encouraged to design pedestrian and cycle routes through the development to increase the variety of safe routes through the village.
  • A variety of traffic calming measures will be introduced, including speed limits, chicanes, village 'gates', mobile speed indicators, enhanced Speedwatch etc. The PC will prioritise these and seek funding for implementation. Reduced car use around the village will be encouraged.
  • The pavement and footpath network around the village will be expanded and improved.

Theme: Community facilities and infrastructure

Provision for improvements will be made in advance of development commencing.

The village survey identified sports and leisure facilities as the top priority when asked which facilities would benefit from investment.

Improvements in the village communications infrastructure will be required as resident numbers increase and requirements change.

Community projects will be identified to move towards net zero carbon.

How will we achieve this:

  • In order to protect the facilities and amenities valued by the residents of Great Gransden, and to encourage a balanced and sustainable community, it is important that none of the facilities valued by residents is lost or impaired by development.
  • Any increase in the number of houses in Great Gransden must be accompanied by improvements in community facilities and infrastructure and these must be decided on the basis of local priorities.
  • It is intended that Community Infrastructure Policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will be implemented as and when funding becomes available. Reasonable proposals to enhance an existing facility will be supported.
  • Implement the option of superfast broadband to ensure the communications infrastructure keeps up with changing demand.
  • Assess the feasibility of a centralised ground source heat project for the village.

Theme: Health and Education

The village primary school will maintain its very high standards of education and community values. It will be well-resourced and financially secure.

Residents in the village will have easy access to good educational opportunities for all age groups.

Health provision in the village will be restored and expanded.

How will we achieve this:

  • Housing development proposals for the village to be appraised for their impact on the size, character and financial health of Barnabas Oley Primary School.
  • Support existing pre-school provision through appropriate partnerships and facility sharing.
  • Young people of secondary school age to have transport support to a good or outstanding school of their choic.
  • Village societies to be encouraged to provide learning opportunities to their members. The management committees of village facilities should enable and invite learning providers to use their facilities.
  • Proposals/bids will be made to the Parish Council and other organisations for funds to support education for all ages within the village.
  • We will negotiate with GP surgeries in Bourn and Gamlingay to identify suitable premises and facilities for appropriate consultation clinics in Great Gransden.
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N Day,
24 Mar 2021, 12:15