The growth of Cambridge 

We are at a pivotal point in the future development of Cambridge – one of Western Europe’s fastest growing cities. Widely regarded as a key driver for the financial stability of the East of England, Cambridge is also seen as an engine for UK growth and economic recovery. Regularly referred to by Government ministers and located less than an hour from London, Cambridge is a target for inward investment (public and private) and is facing change on an unprecedented scale.

Growth is good and essential to maintain the prosperity of local residents and to feed into the national economy. But it must also be sustainable to ensure that the character, ambience and qualities that make Cambridge so special are protected. We must not strangle the goose that lays the golden eggs.


What we do

We seek to influence the planning of new developments and the design of new communities in and around Cambridge, so that they are of the highest possible quality in terms of urban planning, architectural design and community facilities. We want places for people to live and work that maintain and enhance the quality of the city’s historic core and its conservation areas; offer green spaces for people to explore; and respect the compact nature of the city. We believe in high quality design and common sense.

Since 1932 we have worked alongside the planning committees of successive local councils, landowners and developers, discussing future developments and how best to shape them before they get to planning stage. Over recent years we have engaged with many local residents associations and groups as well as numerous local bodies including the city’s Sustainable City Biodiversity Group; the Green Infrastructure Forum; the Local Strategic Partnership; the Design and Conservation Panel; the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership; and Cambridge Ahead.

We also chair the East of England Civic and Amenity Societies (EECAS) – an informal regional cluster of active civic and amenity groups.

CambridgePPF Transport and City Deal

CambridgePPF are actively involved in the Greater Cambridge City Deal. Described on their website, ‘The Greater Cambridge City Deal aims to ensure that the success of the area continues by investing in the transport infrastructure, housing and skills needed to see future economic growth.’ Link to City Deal website


CPPF’s most recent statements and correspondence:

CPPF statement on Chisholm Trl 100915sw

Our statement should be read in conjunction with the following drawings from the Chisholm Trail Background Paper:

cambridge 15 07 31 CPPF and Underpass in detail 1-500 annotated

Cambridge 15 07 31 Chisholm Trail Newmarket Road underpass revised

cambridge 15 07 31 CPPF land A3 plan


Older documents:

CPPF Chisholm Trail Statement City Deal Ver2 15 7 15

CPPF transport strategy 2015 final 130715

Examination of Local Plans

Cambridge City Council (City) and South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) have prepared draft Local Plans for the planning and development of Cambridge and its sub-region over the next two decades. The plans have gone through two years of drafting and public consultation.

Final versions of both Plans are now being examined in public by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Department for Communities & Local Government. The examination, which commenced on 4th November 2014, is likely to run until Spring 2015.

The plans drawn up are fundamentally important to the future development of the Cambridge area. Because of the significance of these issues and their impact on the quality of life of both current and future local residents, CambridgePPF has been engaged with both councils throughout the plan process. Read more about our work.


Our development principles

With decades of experience in helping to shape the city we have put together twelve practical development principles that reflect our position on key local planning matters and what we want to see in Cambridge in the years ahead.


Cambridge and the surrounding area must continue to grow and develop. Growth is essential if the wellbeing and prosperity of our city and its universities and businesses is to be maintained for future generations.

The character and ambience of Cambridge make it a special place. All development should be of a quality, scale and speed that is mindful of the city’s character – adding not detracting from it.

The success of our city and its universities and businesses in a globally competitive market place is underpinned by the quality of life on offer to those that live and work here. All development must contribute to a better quality of life.

Cambridge is a compact city with a clearly defined boundary. The Green Belt defines our city’s setting in the landscape and protects it from urban sprawl. This attractive urban definition must continue. At the same time the Green Belt must be positively managed for access, wildlife and enhanced landscape value.

As a modern and forward thinking city, Cambridge should set the standard for environmental sustainability. We must protect its iconic views and green spaces, and make the best possible use of its energy, waste and water resources.

Transport is a major challenge for Cambridge. We must re-assess the current transport policy. Cambridge must demonstrate commitment to improve public transport, cycle and pedestrian access. We should also be at the forefront of intelligent demand management.

Cambridge has earned an international reputation for quality, innovation and design. All development should contribute to that reputation, helping create new communities and providinginspiring spaces in which to live and work.

Cambridge’s charm is thanks in part to its ability to mix old and news. Developments, especially those in the city centre, must enhance the historic core and protect its unique qualities including the River Cam Corridor.

Cambridge’s brownfield sites have a particularly important role in development. Regneneration must be a foundation for growth, and we should continually work to identify sites where land is inappropriately or under-used. The way we use these sites must also protect us from urban sprawl.

The Green Belt must be protected. It serves to define the city and contributes directly to its character and to the quality of life of the people who live and work here. Green Belt land must not be released for development except in exceptional circumstances. Read more about our Green Belt work.

People want to work in Cambridge and employers appreciate the quality that Cambridge attracts, especially in innovative business areas. Development ofcommercial and business areas should promote employment clusters, so that collaboration and the exchange of ideas are encouraged. New business space should, where possible, be grouped with relevant existing clusters.

The job isn’t finished when the last brick is laid. All residential and commercial developments must be monitored so that we can learn from both success and failure. The cumulative experience of development in and aroundCambridge must be recognised as an asset for our own city, and for any other city concerned with sensitive and sustainable development.

Our achievements

  • Protecting Grantchester Meadows from development through the purchase of restrictive covenants in the 1930s
  • Saving the Gog Magog Hills from the threat of housing development in the 1930s
  • Instigating the creation of the Cambridge Green Belt
  • Acquiring the Wandlebury Estate in the 1950s and establishing Cambridge’s first country park
  • Being appointed guardian of the Leper Chapel by Cambridge University
  • Saving Hinxton Mill from demolition and restoring it to its former glory
  • Purchasing Bourn Mill with a cash gift awarded to the charity
  • Creating Coton Countryside Reserve – demonstrating that Green Belt land can be managed with imagination to balance agriculture, wildlife conservation and public access
  • Contributing to the 2006 Green Infrastructure Strategy to encourage the creation of additional green open spaces across Cambridgeshire

Support our work

There are lots of ways you can support our planning work.

Volunteer: If you have a planning background and are passionate about the future of Cambridge, why not join one of our volunteer committees. Our planning work is divided between two groups:

  • Our core planning committee is staffed by volunteers with professional experience of town planning, policy making and architecture. The committee meets every two months to discuss national planning policy; Cambridge specific issues; and individual planning applications.
  • Our Heritage Working Group is a sub-group of our Planning Committee which has responsibility for determining the society’s position on planning policies and proposals that affect the city’s conservation areas, listed buildings and green spaces.

Become a member: With more members we can amplify our voice on local planning matters .and galvanise our work so we can keep pace with the pace of development in Cambridge, which is set to accelerate over the years ahead.

Meet the team

Carolin Göhler

Chief Executive

Carolin became our CEO in January 2005. She is a horticulturist, chartered landscape architect and green space manager with an avid interest in ecology, building design and sustainability. Working closely with our senior management team, Carolin's role is to focus on the strategic development of the charity and its principle sites.  

Dr Robin Pellew OBE


Robin established the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge in 1987, one of only two United Nations agencies in the UK. He is the ex-CEO of the National Trust for Scotland (2001-06); Animal Health Trust, Newmarket (1998-2001); and World Wildlife Fund-UK (1993-98). Currently he is a non-executive Director of the National Forest Company and serving Chair of its committees for Conservation; Access & Recreation and Land Acquisition. He is also an independent consultant in the conservation, heritage and visitor attraction sector.

Chris Blencowe

Chris Blencowe

Chris is an Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College. Prior to coming to Cambridge in 2005, he spent a full career in the Royal Air Force. He was the Bursar of Pembroke College until his retirement in 2013. During this time he gained a strong interest in Cambridge Planning issues and chaired the Cambridge Colleges Environment and Planning Committee.

Terry Gilbert


Terry Gilbert has had a distinguished career in local government at chief officer level with several Metropolitan Councils. He has extensive experience in economic development and urban regeneration and has provided advice on development and town planning in the East of England.

Stacey Weiser

Head of Planning & Conservation
Stacey Weiser

Stacey has over twenty years’ experience in Interior Architecture and Design, Local Authority Conservation, Design and Planning and work with a national charity managing a grant project. Her role includes planning and heritage input, providing professional advice and support to the charity’s Planning Committee and Heritage Working Group, coordinating city-wide partnership projects of importance to the Charity, including our properties.

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