The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service today responded to some questions from the media relating to the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan.
1. What can you tell us about the new sites that have come forward recently and were published as part of the recent publication of comments from the First Proposals? How likely are they to be taken forwards? There are some residents concerned about new / further sites being incorporated into the Greater Cambridge Local Plan. What planning status do they have at the moment and what happens next for the new sites put forwards?
As we are still developing the Local Plan, the consultation allowed people to comment on sites that have been included, or not included, in our proposals. Landowners, developers, individuals, and other interested parties suggesting additional sites for development is a normal part of plan making. There have been some further large sites put to the councils. We will assess all the new sites we have received in a similar way to the 650 other sites we had received previously. None of them have any planning status now. We are now reviewing all the comments on proposed sites and policies that we have received. The next stages will be confirmation of our preferred strategy and then consultation on a draft Local Plan, and people will be able to see if any new sites are taken forward after our analysis. People will be able to comment on that draft Plan and the Council will consider the need for any further changes before the subsequent formal consultation stage and examination.
2. What is the very latest on the water supply situation – bearing in mind the new sites that have been submitted? Is there going to be enough water? We know you have said that water is going to be a deal-breaker and that if solutions to water supply are not put in place, numbers of new homes being planned for may need to be reduced.
We know that water is an absolutely critical issue for the Local Plan. The First Proposals were clear that the proposed strategy for the identified need was contingent upon evidence becoming available that demonstrates that a sustainable water supply will be provided by the responsible organisations to support its proposals, that does not cause unacceptable environmental harm. One of the reasons for adjusting our plan making timetable is so we can fully understand the outcome of the Water Resources East Regional Plan, and Cambridge Water’s and Anglian Water’s Water Resources Management Plans which are expected later this year.
3. Is the Grange Farm proposal something entirely new or has it been considered before?
The Grange Farm proposal is a new site that was not submitted previously.
The executive councillor leading on this matter at Cambridge City Council is Cllr Katie Thornburrow, (Labour) Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure. Spokespersons from the other political groups on this issue are Cllr Tim Bick (Liberal Democrat) and Cllr Sam Davies (Green/Independent Group)