Skip To Main Content

Cambridge City Council

Planning Obligations Strategy SPD

Cambridge City Council has produced a Draft Planning Obligations Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). [PDF, 0.9MB]

The draft SPD has been prepared to support Policy 85: Infrastructure delivery, planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy of the Cambridge Local Plan 2014: Proposed Submission [PDF, 25MB] (and amended by the Addendum to the Cambridge Local Plan 2014 Proposed Submission Document (July 2013): Schedule of Proposed Changes Following Proposed Submission Consultation (February 2014) [PDF, 20MB]) and the development of the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

The draft SPD was approved for consultation at Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on 25 March 2014. The document was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in support of the Council’s Draft Community Infrastructure Charging Schedule on 28 March 2014.

Consultation ran from 9am on Monday 2 June 2014 to 5pm on Monday 14 July 2014. The Council is assessing responses to the consultation and awaiting the results of the Local Plan Examination before further work on the document can be undertaken.

Consultation on the draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document also took place at the same time.


The consultation on the Draft Planning Obligations Strategy SPD [PDF, 0.9MB] ran from 9am on Monday 2 June 2014 to 5pm on Monday 14 July 2014.

You can view responses to the Draft Planning Obligations Strategy SPD [PDF, 0.9MB] by visiting our online consultation system.

Documents provided as part of the consultation can be viewed below.

Consultation documents

 The draft SPD and associated documents can also be purchased from the Customer Service Centre (phone 01223 457200).

Further information

A Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Report has been carried out and consulted upon for the Cambridge Local Plan 2014: Proposed Submission. This consultation took place between 19 July and 30 September 2013.  As the draft SPD supports the Cambridge Local Plan, there is no further need to undertake a separate Sustainability Appraisal or Habitats Regulations Assessment for this document.

Fees for monitoring planning obligations - changes effective from 1 April 2014

The development of a new Draft Planning Obligations Strategy SPD has provided the opportunity to take stock of the way that monitoring fees are being applied under the current planning obligations strategy. It has become clear that the monitoring fees received by the Council under the current fee structure have fallen short of the costs incurred in monitoring and managing planning obligations.

Therefore, it was agreed at Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on 25 March 2014 that, from the 1 April 2014, the Council would update its monitoring fees structure under the Council's current Planning Obligations Strategy SPD 2010. The new fee structure is outlined below:

  1. Monitoring fees for all financial planning obligations and non-financial planning obligations will be 5% of the total value of that obligation (up to a maximum of £50,000)
  2. Large scale developments may have their fees agreed by negotiation, although this will incur an additional administrative charge. In these instances monitoring fees will be agreed on a case by case basis, however, the default position for a monitoring charge will be 5% of the value of the obligation

Charges will be imposed on a per clause basis.

Planning Obligations Strategy 2010

The Planning Obligations Strategy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will provide the framework for the negotiation and use of planning obligation monies across the city.

Its main purpose is to provide the mechanisms to secure:

  • provision of new infrastructure or improvements to existing infrastructure
  • measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of development
  • measures to address the needs identified to accommodate the projected growth of Cambridge and, where appropriate, the surrounding area.

The types of infrastructure requirements covered by the strategy include:

  • transport
  • open space - including indoor and outdoor sports facilities, informal open space, provision for children and teenagers and allotments
  • education and lifelong learning
  • community facilities
  • primary healthcare facilities
  • household waste and recycling facilities
  • charges for monitoring planning obligations.

The SPD was adopted at Environment Scrutiny Committee on 16 March 2010.

Adoption of the document followed a period of public consultation, which took place between 16 April and 29 May 2007. This consultation offered an opportunity for people to comment on the draft planning obligations strategy and its accompanying sustainability appraisal. Following consultation, a number of changes were made to the draft document.

The adopted document and other associated documents can be viewed by selecting from the links below:

We are currently in the process of revising the Planning Obligations SPD. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.


During the consultation period, the council received a representation containing significant revisions to the education section of the draft Planning Obligations Strategy from Cambridgeshire County Council.

As a result of the issues arising from consultation and policy-making processes, the draft strategy needed to be amended and further discussions and consultation on the education section of the strategy are required prior to adoption.

A number of discussions have taken place with Cambridgeshire County Council regarding education contributions and a report was taken to Development Plan Steering Group on 1 December 2009. Discussions are still ongoing and further progress will be reported to Development Plan Steering Group prior to undertaking any further consultation.

In the meantime, the education section of the 2004 Planning Obligations Strategy will continue to apply until it is superseded by the revised education section, and this forms Annex 1 of the adopted Planning Obligations Strategy SPD.

It is anticipated that the education issues can be resolved (including undertaking any necessary consultation) over the next few months, with adoption of this section of the SPD later in 2010.

The sustainability appraisal

The Planning Obligations Strategy SPD has been subject to a sustainability appraisal. This is to ensure that the document can be considered in light of its social, environmental and economic impacts.

The sustainability appraisal was made available for consultation at the same time as the draft SPD, and was reviewed following consultation and in light of subsequent changes made to the SPD.

Supporting documents

A number of other documents are also related to the draft planning obligations strategy:

Contact us

If you require any further information about the Planning Obligations Strategy SPD, please contact the planning policy team at, or telephone: 01223 457200.

For information regarding the calculation of planning obligations in relation to specific planning applications, please contact the relevant case officer in the Development Services section.