Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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South Cambs Local Plan adopted after record delay

by Susan van de Ven on 3 October, 2018


After an unprecedentedly long time (over four years) the South Cambs Local Plan has finally been passed by the Inspector and formally adopted by South Cambs District Council.

This was not the Local Plan that would have been forward had the Liberal Democrats been in power four years ago but even so they have considered what is in the best interests of residents by either approving or rejecting the plan.  A key consideration is that until very recently there was no five-year housing land supply which together with no Local Plan has meant a free for all for developers to build houses just about anywhere. In fact, there are now 5000 houses with planning permission that are not in any local plan.

Key housing sites in the two Local Plans (for Cambridge and South Cambs) that have been found sound by the inspectors are below. Only a proportion of the homes at the larger sites would be built by 2031:

  • A new town north of Waterbeach – approximately 8,000-9,000 homes
  • A new village at Bourn Airfield – approximately 3,500 homes
  • An expansion to Cambourne to the west – since the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan was submitted planning permission has been granted for 2,350 homes
  • Homes on land north of Cherry Hinton and west of Teversham – 1,200 homes
  • Around 900 homes in the better served South Cambridgeshire villages
  • Continue to develop Northstowe – around 10,000 homes
  • Continue to build homes in existing growth sites on the edge of Cambridge (Southern Fringe, Cambridge East, Darwin Green and Eddington)
  • Worts Causeway – 430 homes
  • Extension to Cambridge Biomedical Campus to support the growth of this cluster
  • Extension to the Peterhouse Technology Park on Fulbourn Road

Other key policies in the plans and findings of the Inspectors include a commitment to an early review of the Local Plans. This was already a commitment of both Councils as part of signing up to the City Deal agreement. The review would commence in 2019 with submission for examination in 2022. The Inspectors confirmed that the Councils’ Green Belt evidence is robust and that no additional sites, beyond the limited sites proposed by the Councils, need to be allocated for development in the Green Belt.

For South Cambridgeshire, the Inspectors confirm that the plan makes adequate provision for Gypsies and Travellers who have been identified as meeting the current government planning definition. Further consideration will be given as part of the Local Plan review on the needs of Gypsies and Travellers who no longer travel.

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