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Representation 30801 on Local Plan Issues and Options Report by Cambridgeshire Scouts (Ian Weatherall)
|Support / Object:||COMMENT|
|Document Link:||Local Plan Issues and Options Report - Question 16B|
|Representation:||Proposal for the Scout camp site at Little Abington to be incorporated into the village envelope so as to enable its future development either as a camp site or for housing.|
|Site:||Little Abington, Scout Hut, Cambridgeshire County Scout Camp Site, Church Lane (LPIO12)|
I am the Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Scouts, which means I lead the support team for Scouting in Cambridgeshire, whilst the County Commissioner, leads the uniformed side - the ones who do Scouting. My job, and that of my colleagues, all volunteers, is to ensure that the finances and structures are in place and working, so that active scouting can keep going.
The campsite at Abington has been in Scout ownership since 1933, and was recently the subject of a successful planning application for the erection of housing on part of the site. The reference number of the application is S/0435/10/F.
Like all charities, Cambridgeshire Scouts is short of money, and the idea of selling off part of the site for housing was to raise money for the redevelopment of the rest of the site. The developed part of the site is within the village; the rest is Green Belt. Since we obtained the planning permission, we have done more work on the viability of the site, and the need for a camp site in this area. One of the options now coming under serious consideration is to sell the site in its entirety, and either to move elsewhere within Cambridgeshire, or to do without a County Camp Site, as there are other suitable sites in the County and in neighbouring areas.
We know that we can sell at least part of the site with planning permission for housing. What I would like to inquire is whether, in the SCDC plans, it would be possible to designate the whole of the site as part of the village (i.e. not in the Green Belt) and available for housing or other development, subject to the appropriate planning approvals. We are aware that full development of the site would not be possible, as part of it is flood plain, and in any case, we would not wish to see overcapacity on the site. The alternative, if we decide not to sell the site, may be to either dismantle the existing buildings, which are in need of expensive renovation, and/or to put essential buildings (toilets and shower blocks) on the Green Belt part of the site, adjacent to the existing camping areas, if this is possible.