Possible new sites for jobs and homes on edge of Cambridge revealed

6 December 2012

Released on 22 November 2012

Six site options for employment and new housing on the edge of Cambridge will be debated by councillors next week ahead of a joint Council public consultation in January.

Proposals to be presented to the Joint Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group - which have members from Cambridge City, Cambridgeshire County and South Cambridgeshire District Councils - were published today outlining sites that could be suitable for development on the edge of Cambridge.

The sites to be recommended for consultation by councillors, following a review of the Green Belt, are on either side of Worts Causeway for around 480 homes, two sites at Fulbourn Road adjoining the ARM site for employment, with a third for around 75 homes or employment, and land west of Histon Road - to be known as the NIAB 3 site - for an extension of 450 additional homes.

The sites put forward follow a first round of public consultation by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils asking for views on the main issues being debated for their areas, and options for both councils to provide homes and infrastructure to support up to 50,000 new jobs being created up to 2031.

The second phase of consultation will now look at areas on the edge of Cambridge that overlap the two council areas.

Concerns were raised to both Councils during the first round of consultation about developing extensively on the green belt around Cambridge, but the report published today effectively rules out the majority of the broad locations consulted on during the summer.

Over 10,000 homes on the edge of Cambridge are already being built, have planning permission or are in agreed plans for development, but planning bosses have said Marshalls' intention to remain at its current site means a review must address if this shortfall can be found elsewhere.

Nine sites have also been put forward for a possible community stadium. The proposals include Trumpington Meadows - which would include 400 new homes - a site being described as Union Place north of the A14 between Milton and Histon, land at the NIAB 3 site, Cowley Road, north of Newmarket Road, and options for including it as part of a future new town.

After councillors at the Joint Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group meet on 30 November, South Cambridgeshire District Council will present the agreed Fringe sites for consultation, along with other issues for the district, to a Planning Policy and Localism portfolio holder's meeting at 10am on Thursday 13 December.

Cambridge City Council's Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee and Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change will also be asked to agree the joint consultation - which will include other specific issues related to the City - at 4.30pm the same day.

Both councils will run a joint public consultation from Monday 7 January to Friday 18 February.

Views from the summer and forthcoming joint consultations will be used by each council to draft its Local Plan. A further consultation will then be carried out next summer and proposals will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination in 2014.

Cllr Tim Bick, Cambridge City Council's Leader said:

"Significant new development has been planned, and is already underway for Cambridge. In our current plans we have earmarked land for 12,000 new homes and employment for the next 20 years and we're now working on what else will be needed. It continues to make sense for us to meet the housing need so far as we can from the City area itself because of the priority to avoid generating more longer distance commuting. The constraint we have in considering further growth is the special landscape setting and character which are key factors in what has made Cambridge such a successful City in the first place. The new sites offered for consultation are therefore limited in scale in relation to past decisions but could make a valuable contribution to meeting our need."

Cllr Pippa Corney, South Cambridgeshire District Council's cabinet member for planning policy and localism, said:

"Residents, businesses and parish councils made over 20,000 comments during our summer consultation. This shows how passionate everyone is to make sure plans to develop the area strike the right balance between supporting new jobs being created while protecting what makes the district a unique and special place to live and work. The next step will look at development on the edge of Cambridge and the joint consultation is a very practical way of making sure all views from residents in both areas are taken on board and considered as one. No decisions have been made at this stage as we want to listen to what people think before councillors debate the best way to meet the needs and aspirations of current residents and future generations."

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