Joint news release with South Cambridgeshire District Council
Plans for 44,000 new jobs and 33,500 new homes in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire have moved a step forward after Government inspectors did not raise any objections to the strategy of focussing growth in new towns and a new village.
Inspectors reviewing the two Local Plans completed hearings in July, and South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council have now published correspondence with Government inspectors up to this point to update local people on the stage the plans have reached.
The documents cover some of the changes the inspectors have suggested they believe may be needed for the two Plans to be agreed and signed off, and have asked the Councils to draft the modifications needed.
A complete final list from the inspectors is expected in the next few weeks.
Councillors have said they plan to launch a public consultation as soon as they have the final information from the inspectors and will give extra time for people to have their say to allow for Christmas.
The Local Plans submitted to Government focussed growth for the Greater Cambridge area in a new town north of Waterbeach, a new village at Bourn Airfield, and an extension to Cambourne. Around 300 homes are also proposed for Worts Causeway on the edge of Cambridge.
The independent inspectors reviewing the plans to make sure they are ‘sound’ have not objected to this overall approach.
The main modifications the inspectors have raised so far include:
- Information about suitable land that is readily available in the next 5 years to meet the number of homes that need to be built
- Changing policies so affordable housing is sought on sites of more than 10 homes. The Government intends this to encourage more smaller housing developments
- Modest changes to site boundaries and policies at the new town north of Waterbeach and new village at Bourn Airfield
- Allocation of additional employment land at the Addenbrooke’s Campus
Councillors have welcomed the Government inspectors’ draft recommendation that the two councils review their plans in 2019 and begin to draw up a single Local Plan for the Greater Cambridge area. This recommendation matches up with the commitment the two councils made as part of the City Deal agreement, now the Greater Cambridge Partnership, with Government in 2014.
The plans are in addition to the current extensions being built or planned for on the edge of Cambridge and at the new town of Northstowe. These will be carried forward into the new Local Plans.
Cllr Robert Turner, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “We have worked with our communities for many years on this plan, and although we recognise we will never have complete consensus, it is good news that the inspectors have not raised any concerns with where we want to focus growth. It will see the bulk of much needed new homes and facilities for future generations growing up in the area located in new towns and a new village.
“We had anticipated we would have a final list of modifications from the inspectors by now so we could launch a public consultation. As this has taken more time we have published our correspondence with them so far about the modifications so people know exactly where we stand. We are already gearing up for the consultation to make sure there are no unnecessary delays.”
Cllr Kevin Blencowe, Cambridge City Council’s Executive Member for Planning Policy and Transport, said: “It is clear that the principles behind our approach to the Local Plan have been assessed as sound by the inspectors. It has taken us a long time to reach this important stage, which is a step towards enabling the essential development required to provide much needed new housing and jobs.”
The correspondence with the inspectors can be found by visiting www.scambs.gov.uk/local-plan-examination