About The Project

As you may be aware, a planning application for the Soham Eastern Gateway was previously submitted by Cambridgeshire County Council in June 2017 and subsequently withdrawn in November 2017. This Land™ has been working on developing the Eastern Gateway area and consulting with the local community since February 2018, with an aim to submit a planning application to East Cambridgeshire District Council before the end of 2018.

Soham Eastern Gateway is located to the east of Weatheralls Primary School, between the town and the A142 bypass, and between Qua Fen Common and East Fen Common. The area has been identified as an area for development in the 2010 Soham Vision and in the 2015 East Cambridgeshire Local Plan.

The planning application will include the majority of the development area, you can see the detailed map of the site allocation and planning application boundary (the area allowed for development according to Council policy) and planning application boundary below (the area that This Land is proposing for development).

The development will provide up to 570 dwellings, including affordable housing, as well as a new GP surgery, commercial spaces, a nursery, and open, green and play spaces for all Soham residents. To see more details about the project, including the draft masterplan design and sketches, click here to see the exhibition boards from the first exhibition.

To find out how to get involved and comment on the design proposals, see Get involved.

  • Soham

  • Soham Eastern Gateway site boundary

About The Project Team

This Land | Developer

This LandTM is a development business established with the aim of offering a new, much more customer and community-focused approach to development than the traditional UK housebuilder model. The company’s ethos is to
work with communities and stakeholders to create high quality, attractive neighbourhoods that are designed to complement the local environment and bring tangible benefits to the existing communities that will host them.

This Land


Henry Riley | Project manager

Henry Riley are at the forefront of Project Management of residential development across Cambridgeshire. Their experience extends from small rural exception sites up to new settlements. Henry Riley have over 75 years’ experience delivering projects in Cambridgeshire. Local projects include the Cambridge Southern fringe sites and the proposed new development at Kennett Village.

Henry Riley


Pegasus | Architect

Pegasus Group is a leading independent multidisciplinary consultancy specialising in planning, design, environment and economics, working on planning and architecture projects across the UK. Pegasus are working alongside Soundings to ensure that local residents’ feedback
is integrated into the designs of Soham Eastern Gateway.

Pegasus


Carter Jonas | Planning consultant

Carter Jonas is a multi-disciplinary national property consultancy, with a key hub office based in Cambridge. It is providing planning consultancy advice on the Soham Eastern Gateway project. Carter Jonas is bringing extensive experience in the preparation of complex major planning applications in Cambridgeshire.

Carter Jonas

WYG | Transport consultant

WYG has extensive experience providing transport planning support in relation
to large residential and mixed-use developments and has been involved in the Soham Eastern Gateway site since the start of 2018. WYG is currently involved with a range of projects throughout Cambridgeshire.

WYG


MLM Group | Drainage consultant

MLM are a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy with offices throughout
East Anglia and the South East. MLM are responsible for assessing flood risk to
and from the proposed development and undertaking the foul and surface water drainage strategy for the development, ensuring that the relevant national and local policies and standards are met and setting the criteria for the detailed design of the site.

MLM Group


Soundings | Community engagement consultant

Soundings are community engagement specialists with over 20 years’ experience in the field. They have been appointed to act as a neutral voice, informing the project designs through inclusive and informative consultation with Soham residents. Soundings are focusing on ensuring an open, transparent and positive dialogue with the local community.

Soundings

Public Consultation

Consultation Process


With the aim to develop a masterplan that has local value, This Land™ have asked Soundings, an independent community engagement agency, to lead an open and transparent consultation process, facilitate the dialogue with the local community, and ensure that the plans and designs are informed by local feedback.

The feedback during the consultation events so far has been shared with the project team and the architects and has informed the early plans and designs. We are currently consulting on the early designs, and we will present an advanced version of the plans at a second public exhibition to take place this Autumn.



We will continue to consult on the evolving plans until the planning application submission, there will still be many opportunities for Soham residents to take part in the consultation before the plans are finalised. Once the plans are finalised and an application is submitted to East Cambridgeshire Council, a statutory Council-led consultation will take place.

You can see all the consultation materials and reports to date under Documents.



Consultation Events to Date


You can see an overview of the consultation events that we’ve held to date. Reports from the findings can be seen under Documents.

Consultation Street Pop-ups & Survey
We started meeting local residents at street pop-ups that we held in Soham on the 17th and 22nd February. We started gathering local feedback through canvass card surveys that passers-by had an opportunity to fill in, and we posted the survey online here, on our website, and on our Facebook page. A total of 104 people responded to the survey, the report can be seen here. The findings helped us gain an understanding of local priorities and informed the next steps of the consultation.

Consultation Walk & Talks in Soham
We held two consultation Walk & Talks in Soham on Saturday 10th March. Soham residents attending the events led members of Soundings and This Land around the site, the potential access roads to the site and parts of the town. A discussion was held at the Fountain following each of the walks, and maps and notes were produced by the attendees, the report can be seen here. The findings informed the evolving draft plans.

Open & Green Spaces Workshops
We held two workshop sessions on the 21st April 2018 at the Pavilion, where we had insightful and lively discussions with over 80 local residents. The workshops have been really useful in helping us understand what types of open and green spaces would benefit Soham the most. The findings informed the evolving plans and landscape designs. A report can be seen here.

Open Residents’ Forum
Ahead of the annual Town Council meeting, on the 21st May 2018, we held a session dedicated to the Soham Eastern Gateway. A representative from This Land was there, along with Soundings to answer any questions. Over 60 attendees raised many valid questions and concerns, which informed the next steps of the project team and the information being presented at the first public exhibition.

First Public Exhibition 16th, 17th & 21st July 2018
We held the first public exhibition at the Soham Pavilion and in the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church, where residents were able to review and comment on the draft design proposals and talk to the project team. Over 250 residents attended the three days exhibition. If you were unable to attend the event, you can still see the exhibition boards here. You can also view a summary of the exhibition findings here.

Diagram

Get Involved

Keeping You Informed


Please click here to register if you would like to receive project updates and invitations to future consultation events.

You can also follow our Facebook page for event updates.
  • Would you like to be added to our mailing list and kept informed about upcoming consultation events and project updates?
  • How would you like us to keep you informed?

  • Your contact details will be kept by Soundings. Soundings are community consultants, appointed by This Land Ltd to facilitate community consultation on Soham Eastern Gateway. We collect personal contact details to keep you informed of consultation events, updates and any potential impacts that the development project may have in your area. We collect your opinions and personal details for consultation purposes only. Personal data collected will only be securely shared with This Land Ltd. Your details will not be shared with any third party. Your details will be kept securely for two years after the consultation has completed. For further details please refer to our Fair Processing Notice. You have the right to have your data deleted at any time. If you would like to see which data we hold onto, or if you would like us to delete your data, please contact GDPR@soundingsoffice.com.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


All upcoming consultation events and updates on the evolving masterplan will be published on this webpage. Invitations to public consultation events will also be sent by post.

If you have any queries about the consultation or the project, please contact Leonora or Tim at Soundings using the contact details below.

T | 020 7729 1705
E | info@sohameasterngateway.com

Are you local business owner / Community group interested in acquiring commercial space?


This Land are currently studying local demands for commercial space within the development. There is policy provision for a new small shop, for commercial space, either offices or small workshop/industrial units, and possibly a café as well in the ‘mixed-use hub’ area of the plan. We want local businesses to benefit from these opportunities.

We would be delighted to hear from any local business owners or community groups that may be interested in leasing space within Soham Eastern Gateway. Please contact us using the contact details at the bottom of this page, and we’ll get in touch with you.

  • First Public Exhibition July 2018

  • First Public Exhibition July 2018

  • First Public Exhibition July 2018

  • Walk and Talk March 2018

  • Walk and Talk March 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Open & Green Spaces Workshop April 2018

  • Pop-up February 2018

  • Pop-up February 2018

Documents

In this section, we will provide a record of all consultation documents used through the engagement and consultation process, and all reports with findings from the consultations. This resource will continue to grow as the consultation progresses.

Please click on the links on the right to download the files.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to the most frequently asked questions, based on our conversations with Soham residents to date. If there is any information that you would like to see here that is missing, please contact us using the contact details below.

      • This Land is a development business established with the aim of offering a new, much more customer and community-focused approach to development than the traditional UK housebuilder model. The company wants to work with communities to create high quality, attractive neighbourhoods that are designed to bring tangible benefits to the existing communities that will host them.

        Place-making is central to This Land’s ethos, driving the development of desirable, well-integrated new neighbourhoods focusing on innovation and a customer-led approach to design, innovations, use of materials and facilities.
      • The Soham Eastern Gateway site has been allocated for development within the Soham Vision Plan 2010 and in the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015, which means that it is allocated to be developed for housing in due course. There is both a national and regional shortfall in housing delivery that has lasted for many years. This means that all local councils are required by the government to allocate land for residential development.

        East Cambridgeshire District has a shortfall in its 5-year housing supply, and as a result there is a pressing need for sites allocated for housing, such as Soham Eastern Gateway, to be brought forward for development.

        This Land’s aim is to design and deliver an attractive new neighbourhood for Soham that complements the existing town and will immediately become an integral part of the local community.
      • This Land is close to completing the purchase of the majority of the Soham Eastern Gateway site from Cambridgeshire County Council, with smaller elements of the site owned by Bishop Laney Charity and a private landowner.
      • No, This Land was not involved with the site at that stage. The previous application was submitted by Cambridgeshire County Council on behalf of all the previous land owners jointly.
      • Soham Eastern Gateway is being designed with excellent pedestrian and cycle connections to the town centre, with the High Street approximately 5 to 10 minutes walk from the heart of the site. We want it to be recognised as a pleasant place to live and as a destination for existing residents of the town to enjoy. The development is being designed to deliver enhanced landscaping and new green spaces, seating areas, walking and cycling paths alongside new water features, play areas, a shop and possibly a café.

        This public exhibition is the latest stage in a programme of public consultation that is making an essential contribution to the final plans for the planning application that This Land is working toward submitting to East Cambridgeshire District Council in the Autumn. Before we submit a planning application, a further exhibition will be held to show the final iteration of the plans, explain how the proposals have changed as a result of the public consultation process and discussion with other interested parties, such as Soham Town Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council.
      • We are aiming to submit a planning application this Autumn 2018.
      • The delivery timescales will depend on a number of factors, including the granting of planning permission. All being well, we hope to be on site by early 2020, with the full development likely to take 10-15 years to complete.
      • The sites’ allocation in the Soham Vision Plan and Local Plan allows for up to 600 homes, however, the final number will not be known until the design of the proposals has progressed further, assisted by feedback received at this exhibition and through ongoing discussions with local stakeholders. As mentioned earlier, This Land will report back to the local community on the proposals for Soham Eastern Gateway in a further consultation event in the Autumn, in advance of a planning application being submitted.

        The proportion of affordable homes will be determined by East Cambridgeshire District Council in consideration of local policy and viability. It is likely that the affordable homes will be managed by a local housing association or an organisation such as the Community Land Trust, with the intention that priority will be given to potential residents with a local connection.
      • The designs have not yet been finalised, although we are keen to provide a range of building styles and sizes, potentially ranging in height from single storey homes to four-story ‘mill-style’ buildings. Height and positioning of buildings will be considered in terms of the key views into and out of Soham, giving particular care to the long distance view of St Andrew’s Church.
      • This Land has considered whether it would be possible to move the allotments to an alternative site closer to the A142, freeing up the site to be used to provide more homes closer to the town centre. However, the county council’s Highways officers have made it clear that they do not support a link road to the town centre past Weatheralls School, in which case there is no longer a reason to relocate the allotments.
      • As the designs have not been finalised it is not yet possible to give a figure for how much open space will be delivered. However, This Land intends to provide more open space than the Government and local guidelines require for a project of this size, with significant enhancements to the quality of landscaping.
      • We are working with specialist landscapers not just to protect biodiversity, but to enhance it wherever possible. Creating a healthy, environmentally sensitive place to live is a major part of our design philosophy. Priority will be given to the use of native flora.
      • There will be no encroachment on the adjacent Commons. Indeed, This Land intends to create a connection between the Commons through the site to enhance the environment benefit and to encourage wildlife. In addition, we are looking at various other ways to enhance and protect the Commons, potentially by working with the existing management team on maintenance, and in considering how S106 funding could be allocated to them.
      • The health centre needs to expand at some stage and we have considered how the Soham Eastern Gateway project could potentially help the GPs that run it to do that. We are working with them to find the best way to improve the facilities they can offer to the Soham community, either by facilitating the relocation of the health centre to a larger site in the heart of the development, or by providing extra land for them to expand and improve the health centre at its current location. However, the future of Staploe Medical Centre will remain a decision for the NHS and the GPs that run the centre itself.
      • Two options have been considered to provide road access to the town centre following local discussions and feedback: Pratt Street and Brewhouse Lane. The Pratt Street option has been ruled out having been deemed unsafe by county council highways officers, due to the extra traffic it would be likely to generate past Weatheralls School. Highways officers have, however, signalled that they may permit a road access from Brewhouse Lane, although this would be dependent on the health centre relocating away from its current site.

        Road access to the town centre from Brewhouse Land will not be included in This Land’s planning application, but there is the possibility of an access road being proposed at a later date if the GPs are able to move to a new site. Were this to happen, it would be part of a separate planning application made by the owners of the Medical Centre.
      • The Soham Eastern Gateway development will provide an opportunity for improvement works to be carried out on the A142 to deal with an accident blackspot at the junction with Paddock Street. The County Council Highways Officers have confirmed that the proposed new roundabout that the development would deliver on the A142 will have sufficient capacity to handle all the traffic using Soham Eastern Gateway.

        Due to the permeability of the site into the town centre, residents will be encouraged to walk or cycle to the High Street, which will in any case be much quicker and easier than driving, minimising the traffic impact on the town centre and on local roads.

        This Land’s specialist transport consultants are carrying out modelling to determine what further improvements could potentially be made through the planning application to other junctions and roundabouts in the area to improve traffic flows.
      • Final figures are net yet available as we are still in the process of designing the layout, but car parking provision will at a minimum meet East Cambridgeshire District Council’s policy requirements.

        In addition to providing sufficient residential and visitor parking on the site, This Land is also designing the site to encourage pedestrian and cycle use, especially from the development to the town centre which is only a 5 minute walk. The impact of extra traffic on the town centre should therefore be minimal.
      • This Land’s consultants have been instructed to ensure that all new and existing drainage infrastructure can accommodate greater than expected requirements. For example, the site will have two 47m³ holding tanks, which is double the Anglian Water capacity requirements for a project of this size.

        Foul drainage will be pumped from the site to the pumping station on Qua Fen Common and from here to the gravity sewer in Soham before being pumped to the Soham Water Recycling Centre.
      • The evidence This Land has gathered suggests that the site is not under significant flood risk. The eastern corner of the site is shown on the Environment Agency’s flood map as befitting from flood defences that put its flood potential at 1 in 100 years or worse, but this calculation does not take into account the Internal Drainage Board’s infrastructure. This Land is in discussion with the Environment Agency about updating local flood risk data.

        As an additional protection, the possible long-term flood area will be used primarily for new landscaping, with water features introduced to improve the capacity of the site to hold any flood water and keep it away from built up areas, as well as enhancing the wider Fenland landscape.
      • Our consultants have looked into this and determined that there are no springs located on the site, although there is a low point in the landscape with clay soil that retains water. By actively designing new water features and run-off capacity as part of the landscaping, any future water build-up in this location will be channelled towards the new water features.
      • Yes. This Land will commit to making a financial contribution to community requirements, such as primary and secondary education provision, libraries, nurseries, play and sporting facilities etc. Contributions will be provided via both Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 funding, or S106. The level of funding will be negotiated with East Cambridgeshire District council according to its policy guidelines.
      • It’s too early yet to determine how many jobs will be created during construction, but we will notify the local community of this in due course and once construction is approaching, work with our contractors to ensure that supplier and employment opportunities are well advertised locally. In addition, This Land plans to include an element of commercial/employment uses within the development, such as offices and small workshops, which will provide some longer term employment opportunities for the local community.
      • There will be provision in the plans for a new shop and we are also looking at the possibility of including a café. With its pedestrian connectivity and physical closeness to the High Street, the Soham Eastern Gateway project will make a significant contribution to vitality and economic viability of the town centre, its shops and services, by increasing footfall and custom.
      • The new development will benefit from hyperfast broadband, with a download speed of 150mb available to residents from the day they move in.Each new home will be provided with its own router, with costs comparable to those of mainstream providers such as BT, Virgin and TalkTalk. In addition to the service to the new residents of Soham Eastern Gateway, This Land is also investigating the potential for making the service available to the existing community; benefitting both residential properties and businesses in the town.
      • The current Soham Eastern Gateway development project learned a great deal from the feedback that the County Council received from its consultation process for its earlier proposals for the site in 2017. This Land has been consulting with the community on the current proposals since February, through a series of street pop-ups, two ‘walk and talk’ consultations, an open spaces workshop, an open residents’ forum, questionnaires and an online survey. We have learned a lot from the local community and have responded to many of the comments and questions – both through the masterplan design as well as through related actions. For example, we have investigated the foul drainage situation and looked into the possibilities to improve this, which will be discussed with Anglian Water before the planning application is finalised.

        We have also had many helpful suggestions with regards to our approach to landscaping and open spaces, which has helped hugely in developing the masterplan options that we are considering.

        The outcome of these issues and the other aspect of the proposals are being reported back to the community in our first public exhibition held in July 2018. We are continuing to consult the local community and other stakeholders through this exhibition and the feedback that you will leave today will be taken into consideration when we revise the plan. A subsequent public exhibition will be held in the Autumn to show the final plans in advance of submission of a planning application, and to explain the contribution made by the consultation process to the final scheme.

        You can see all consultation reports as well as the exhibition boards detailing how local feedback has informed the project under the ‘Documents’ tab.
      • A Traffic Management Plan will be agreed with Cambridgeshire County Council highways in advance of works beginning. There will be no road connection between the site and the surrounding town during construction, so all construction traffic will enter and leave the site via the new roundabout on the A142, resulting in minimal impact on the town centre. Once the internal road layout designs have been completed, we will be able to determine the precise details of how construction traffic can best be managed on site.
      • This Land will meet best practice guidance for construction management, and will seek to agree a robust Construction Management Plan with East Cambridgeshire District Council before work begins. The site will be bounded by both the gardens of the new homes, as well as current neighbouring housing, provide a natural buffer from the works. However, This Land will take care to approach the construction period sensitively, taking steps to ensure that members of the local community (especially close neighbours) and local representatives are kept informed of the programme details and milestones, the mitigation measures that are put in place, and that they are provided with dedicated contact details and a means to get in touch to ask questions or express any concerns they may have.
      • This Land will take away comments received in this exhibition and from conversations that are taking place on a regular basis with a wide range of stakeholders, collate the feedback and use the remainder of the Summer to complete the final design of the project that will be submitted. This will be shown to the community in Soham in a further public exhibition that will be held in the Autumn. We will publicise dates for this in due course.

        In the meantime, we continue to welcome comments and suggestions with regards to our proposals. Please do take the opportunity to let us know what you think about the material that has been presented at the exhibition, characteristics of the site, any additional issues you believe should be taken into account in the final plans or how you think the proposals might be further improved. We would be delighted to hear from you!