Cambridge - Rural Geography

Breakdown of the Key ideas need to know for the Rural Case Study of Cambridge.

HideShow resource information

Cambridgeshire Villages

Village Location

  • Numberous villages within the Cambridge Green Belt.
  • Developed due to different factors: ie Granchester is at a crossing point of roads and rivers.
  • Southern Part of the area - line of villages (including Haslingfield and Harlton) are located on the spring-line at the base of the chalk ridge.
  • Low-lying fen areas, villages such as Cottenham were estabilished on 'islands' to reduce risk of flooding.
1 of 7

Rural Centres

Rural Centres

There are 7 main rural centres within Cambridge:

  • Cambourn
  • Fulbourn
  • Great Shelford and Stapleford
  • Histon and Impington
  • Sawston

Rural Centres are larger more sustainable villages - generally have a population of at least 3000, and have good access to : Secondary schools, employment opportunities, contain a primary school, food shops, post office, surgery, good public transport services to Cambridge or a market town.

Future development - development and redevelopment within the village framework. There is no strategic constraint on the amount of development of redevelopment.

2 of 7

Minor Rural Centres

There are 8 minor rural centres:

  • Bar Hill Group Villages: have at least a primary
  • Cottenham school, and affordable housing to meet
  • Gamlingay local needs, services and facilities.
  • Linton
  • Melbourn
  • Papworth Everard
  • Waterbeach
  • Willingham

Residential Development and Redevelopment up to an indicative maximum scheme size of 30 dwellings will be permitted within the village frameworks of Minor Rural Centres.

Group Villages: (Comberton) are generally less sustainable locations for new development than Rural Centres and Minor Rural Centres, having fewer services and facilities allowing only some of the basic day-to-day requiements of their residents to be met without the need to travel outside the village.

3 of 7

Infill Villages

Infill-only villages (eg Landbeach)

  • Generally amongst the smallest in South Cambridgeshire.
  • Poor range of services and facilities
  • often necessary for local residents to travel outside the village for more of their daily needs.
  • Generally lack any food shops
  • No Primary School
  • May not have a permanent post office or a village hall or meeting place.
  • It will generate a disproportionate number of additional journeys outside the village.
4 of 7


The Hierarchy of centres in South Cambridgeshire is as follows:

  • Northstowe town centre
  • Cambridge East district centre
  • Rural Centres Village centres
  • Other Villages village centres (Minor Rural Centres, Group Villages and Infill Villages)

Cambridge is the relevant city centre in the local hierarchy while the ring of market towns just outside the district represent town centres. The centre at Northstowe will also be considered a town centre in the hierarchy. the centre at Cambridge East will perform a function equivalent to that of a large district centre.

5 of 7

Population Changes within Cambridgeshire

Social impacts of in-migration for the rural village of Cambridgeshire would be:

  • Day village may be empty as everyones at work. Dormentry settlements
  • Middle age and children population
  • Different social classes - middle classes movin in.
  • Schools would be ok
  • Community less tight nit - different interests
  • Mainly commuters to the city - increased trafficduring rush hours - environmental issues.
  • Basic amenities available to avoid commuting on weekends
  • Park areas for the younger children

Economic Impacts of in-migration for the rural villages of Cambridgeshire:

  • Jobs in the area would be limited and not wanted
  • Increase in house prices
  • Village shops close because the commuters gather goods on way home- low order
  • Pressure on infrastructure.
6 of 7

Rural Change - Factors of the growth of rural area

  • Cambridge's green belt is in crisis
  • Science Parks and superstores sued to be seen as biggest threat - but now its housing, roads and recreational facilities.
  • Cambridgeshire is the fastest-growing county in the UK, with a poplation set to rise by 60% between 1979 and 2016 as the 50 year restriction on the size of Cambridge set by Holford replort has been removed.
  • Very little brownfield land, and no space for building land within the Green Belt.
  • The Green Belt was estabilished to control the spread of the city and to preserve open space around the city.
  • As a result the strategic plans for growth in Cambridgeshire were to concentrate development and new housing in the villages and market towns surrounding Cambridge. (E.G: Cottenham, Milton, Comberton and Ely, and the New towns of Bar Hill and Cambourne. Leading to problems:
7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Rural and urban challenges and regeneration resources »