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Planning Policy Monthly Update

Planning Policy Monthly Update (March 2015)

Highlights news items relevant to planning policy at national, regional, county and local levels.

Please note that we can only be responsible for our own programmes. Information from other organisations is the latest and most up to date given to us.


A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

An application for a Development Consent Order to build the A14 improvement scheme was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the Highways Agency on 31 December 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate has now accepted this application for examination and has approximately three months to prepare for the examination.

This is the last opportunity to have your say about the A14 scheme before an Inspector examines the application. Everyone who registers their interest or makes comments will be invited to take part in the examination, which can take up to 6 months. You have until Thursday 12 March 2015 at 11.59pm to register as an interested party and to provide an outline of your comments on the application. There is a link to register on the Planning Inspectorate's website as well as further information on the Development Consent Order process.

The Council will be considering the proposals and deciding its response.

The Highway Agency has published a summary leaflet  about the current scheme showing where the application can be viewed and a time line that the scheme will go through.  

 For further information on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Scheme visit the Highways Agency website..

  Government Consultation – Building more homes on brownfield land

A consultation document published on 28 January 2015 by the Department of Communities and Local Government seeks views on a range of proposals to support local planning authorities further in identifying and recording brownfield land suitable for housing, and to encourage them to make good progress in getting permissions in place for housing through local development orders.

The Council will be taking a report to the Planning Portfolio Holder  meeting on 10 March 2015 responding to this consultation.

The deadline for comments to DCLG 11 March 2015.

New threshold for affordable housing

 A government consultation was carried out earlier this year called Planning performance and planning contributions which included a proposal to introduce a new national threshold of 10 units or more for Section 106 affordable housing contributions. Rural Exception Sites would be outside the scope of this new threshold. The consultation ended in May 2014 and the Government's response to this consultation was published at the end of last year.

The government has now made changes to national policy to prevent local planning authorities from seeking affordable housing contributions from "sites of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floor space of 1,000 square metres". 

 A lower threshold could be implemented in rural areas designated under section 157 of the Housing Act 1985, which includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  South Cambridgeshire is not within such a designated rural area.   The changes in policy do not apply to Rural Exception Sites "which, subject to the local area demonstrating sufficient need, remain available to support the delivery of affordable homes for local people".

 This revised guidance has been added to the National Planning Practice Guidance – the Government’s on-line guidance for planning in the section on Planning Obligations (See paragraphs 012 – 023).

 In the January monthly update we promised to let you know when the Council had considered the implications of this new guidance for South Cambridgeshire.  A report about these changes was considered at Planning Committee on 4 March 2015 – agenda item 12.   It was agreed that

a)    Decisions on planning obligations and associated legal agreements, where there has been a resolution to grant planning permission by the Planning Committee on smaller residential developments, be delegated to the Executive Director for Planning and New Communities, in accordance with government policy and

b)    A planning condition be used requiring submission and approval of an Affordable Housing Scheme for developments of 3 or more new dwellings, or 4 or more where an existing dwelling is to be demolished.

 For further information please contact Tony Pierce – Interim Development Control Manager on  or 01954 713165.

Local Plan News

Local Plan News highlights where we would like your involvement in future plan making in South Cambridgeshire and shows the progress of past consultations.


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