Possible Green Light for Local Plans?  

15th Nov 2017

Correspondence between the Councils and the Planning Inspectorate published today suggest that there are no fundamental objections raised by the Inspectors. The Examination of the Local Plans submitted by both Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire Councils that provide the framework for development up to 2031, closed in July 2017 and we are now awaiting the final determination on the soundness of these plans from the Inspectorate.

The correspondence implies that the overall spatial strategy of keeping Cambridge as a compact city surrounded by its Green Belt will be retained.  The targets of the two Councils of 44,000 new jobs and 33,500 new homes in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire look likely to be approved with the homes concentrated in new settlements beyond the Green Belt – like Northstowe, Waterbeach Barracks, Bourn Airfield, and the extension of Cambourne. This would mean that the plans submitted by developers for major new developments around the fringe of Cambridge in the Green Belt – like North of Barton Road, the Southern Cambridge Research Park at Trumpington, South-East Cambridge on the foothills of the Magog Hills, and Fen Ditton – are unlikely to proceed at this stage.

CambridgePPF Chief Executive, James Littlewood said, “CambridgePPF argued vigorously throughout the two years of the Examination that such major developments on the edge of the City would erode the green setting of Cambridge and fundamentally change the character and ambience of the City.

Despite the battalions of lawyers, planners, modellers and statisticians deployed by developers to support their arguments for building on the Green Belt, we are increasingly confident that the Inspectors have heeded our message.”

The main matters where the Inspectors have called for modifications include:

  • Clarification of suitable land that is readily available in the next 5 years to meet the number of homes that need to be built
  • Amendment of the policies relating to affordable housing on sites of more than 10 homes in accordance with Government policy to encourage more smaller housing developments
  • Some modest amendments to the boundaries of the development areas of Waterbeach Barracks and Bourn airfield
  • Allocation of additional land as a southern extension to the Addenbrooke’s Biomedical Campus
  • The merging of the Plans from both Councils into a joint Local Plan for the Greater Cambridge area by 2019

These and other modifications arising during the Examination and the subsequent correspondence, including some changes proposed by CambridgePPF, will be the subject of a public consultation in due course.               



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