Home > Uncategorized > Newnham Labour opposes Owlstone Croft development

Labour councillors are standing with Newnham residents against a proposed development that threatens a local nature reserve.

The proposals, put forward by Queens’ College for their Owlstone Croft site, would create four new accommodation blocks for postgraduate students. Many residents in Newnham and across the city have expressed concerns about the effect of the new development on the local area. Two of these blocks would overlook Paradise Nature Reserve, and two would overlook the neighbouring Newnham Croft primary school.

Paradise is a local nature reserve which is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, and enjoyed by people from across Cambridge. Residents and members of the volunteer group Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve are deeply concerned about the new buildings’ impact on local wildlife, in particular on the five protected species of bat that call the woodland area home.

Cllr Niamh Sweeney commented:

“Like many residents, I have serious concerns about Queens’ proposals. As a former teacher, I am particularly worried that the construction process would impact negatively on the safety and wellbeing of pupils at Newnham Croft school, given the proximity of the site to the school, and the potential disruption to children’s learning. I’m concerned that the plans also include the proposal to demolish the purpose built Nursery School which was only built 7 years ago.”

Cllr Cameron Holloway said:

“In recent months I’ve spent a lot of time discussing these proposals with residents. Like many of the people I’ve spoken to, I’m very worried about the proximity of the proposed accommodation blocks to Paradise Nature Reserve. Paradise is an important protected site for biodiversity in the ward and city, but light and noise pollution from the site could have a severe negative effect on bats, birds and other animals. The new buildings would also likely increase the risk of flooding within the reserve, which can kill off some vulnerable plant and animal life. Animals and plants that leave the area or die will not easily return.  We’re proud to be standing with residents to oppose these plans.”

You can view and comment on the planning application here. The public consultation on the application is open until 21 June: