In order to assist in the formulation of the Neighbourhood Plan the following Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats have been identified (updated May 18). If you have and further contributions please use the contact form.

Whittlesford SWOT analysis

Strengths

  • Railway station enables direct access to large employment centres
    in Cambridge, London and at Stansted airport
  • Good access to M11 and other major routes
  • Within easy reach of Cambridge but still rural village character
  • Largely surrounded by green belt land, so not in immediate danger of being over-developed
  • Shop, post office, pubs and restaurants
  • Community facilities: The Lawn and Memorial Hall, Social Club.
  • Very good primary school including out-of-school club
  • Active sports clubs
  • Active community organisations e.g. Nicholas Swallow Trust, Millennium Group
  • Reasonable range of footpaths
  • Good number of skilled and experienced people willing to contribute to voluntary activities
  • Good broadband connection across most of the parish.

Weaknesses

  • Viable public transport other than trains is very difficult to provide in rural areas
  • Not large enough to support a wider range of leisure facilities
  • Insufficient parking, particularly near the station
  • Few employment opportunities in the village
  • Physically split into various sub-areas that do not naturally cohere
  • Limited facilities especially for teenagersĀ and young people

Opportunities

  • Sensitive development could keep the village character while ensuring it does not stagnate.
  • Increasing numbers of jobs in South Cambridgeshire should keep Whittlesford as a popular place to live.
  • Commercial developments could provide funds to improve non-motorised transport, by building bike lanes and improving footpaths.
  • There should be opportunities to increase social and other links between the various parts of the village, particularly as more houses are built at the southern end.
  • Opening up M11 junction 9 in both directions would enable the A505 to be downgraded and reduce the impact of traffic on the southern end of the parish.
  • Redevelopment of the station area could improve transport links for the parish and provide more facilities for residents at the southern end.

Threats

  • Different areas of the parish could become increasingly disconnected.
  • Increasing numbers of commuters from outside the parish make traffic and parking problems worse.
  • Significant new employment opportunities in the area could cause village roads to become rat-runs as drivers from villages, new settlements to the north and west and the City discover back routes thereby avoiding congestion and lengthy queues on the M11 and A505.
  • Significant areas of green belt land (much of it in the hands of the County Council) could be released for building and change the character of the parish.
  • Continued congestion on the A505, and potential increase of its capacity, could reduce the quality of life at the southern end of the parish.
  • Increasing house prices could change the demographics of the parish and force young people with village connections to move away