News and updates

Last updated 5 November 2019

This monthly update covers the Greater Cambridge area. The planning departments for South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council have been combined to form the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service which serve this area.

This update gives information on:

  • Live planning related consultations in Greater Cambridge, comprising South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge, to help you have your say.
  • Forthcoming planning related consultations in Greater Cambridge.
  • Other key planning news at local, county and national levels.

Information on any consultations that may affect people living or working in Greater Cambridge can be viewed on the South Cambridgeshire District Council consultations webpage and / or the Cambridge City Council consultations webpage as relevant to the consultation concerned.

Current Consultations

None currently.

Forthcoming consultations

Consultations by Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

The consultation on the Issues and Options for the Greater Cambridge Joint Local Plan is currently anticipated to begin early January 2020. For more information on this consultation see the Local Plan section of this update.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning News

New Joint Greater Cambridge Local Plan – upcoming Issues and Options Consultation

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to prepare a joint Local Plan for the Greater Cambridge area. Both the Councils’ current adopted Local Plans (2018) include a policy which makes a commitment to an early review of those Plans to commence before the end of 2019.

One of the first stages of the new joint Local Plan is an Issues and Options consultation.

A report was published on Monday 23 September, giving details of the Issues and Options consultation. This includes the themes the Local Plan will explore.

Members have been considering the Issues and Options consultation in meetings in October

South Cambridgeshire District Council -

Next Steps

There will be further meetings in November to consider the consultation. They are as follows: 

  • South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet on 6 November 2019.

 Cambridge City Council -

The consultation dates for the Issues and Options for the Greater Cambridge Joint Local Plan will be considered at these meetings but is currently anticipated that the consultation will commence in early January 2020. This will be an opportunity for everyone who is interested in the Greater Cambridge area to have their say in shaping the future of this area.

We will keep you informed of opportunities to get involved via this monthly update and on both the South Cambridgeshire District Council's website and on the Cambridge City Council's website.

Call for sites consultation

As part of the development of the new Greater Cambridge Joint Local Plan, in February and March 2019 we carried out a ‘call for sites’, allowing people to suggest potential sites or broad locations for development. We have received a wide range of housing and employment site suggestions ranging from small sites in villages to freestanding new communities.

We have now almost completed the registration of the 500+ sites and are also in the process of mapping the valid sites. The forthcoming issues and options consultation will also ask for any further sites as part of the call for sites process. We expect that all the sites will be publicly available to view in early 2020 following the issues and options consultation. All of these sites will need to be assessed for their planning merit in 2020, and none of them have any planning status in respect of the new Local Plan.

Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five-Year Housing Land Supply

The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory is used by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to calculate their five-year housing land supply and also to demonstrate that anticipated housing delivery will meet or exceed their housing requirements.

The Councils have reviewed and updated the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five-year housing land supply calculations, and the conclusion is that the Councils’ jointly have 5.3 years of housing land supply for the 2019-2024 five-year period.

Taking account of national planning policy and guidance, the Councils carried out a consultation on the housing trajectory and five-year housing land supply calculations. This ended on 14 October 2019. We have now considered all the comments received and where necessary have made changes to the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five-year housing land supply calculations. Members are considering the finalised version. The Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five-Year Housing Land Supply document will then be re-published in its final form.

All the documents that we consulted upon can be seen on the Cambridge City Council’s website and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s website.

Draft Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Consultation on proposals to help make new housing developments as green as possible published by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council ended at 5pm on Monday 23 September 2019. The representations have been registered and can be view through the online consultation system on the website.

The draft guide to sustainable design and construction will, when adopted, give developers a clear steer on what is expected of them to reduce the environmental impact of developments. This includes setting out the need to minimise carbon emissions, flood risks, pollution and pressure on water sources. This is all aimed at helping to ensure any development enhances the natural environment, leaving it in a better condition than before it took place.

Next stage – We are considering all the comments received during the consultation. A report will be taken to Cabinet at South Cambridgeshire District Council on 8 January 2020 and Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee at Cambridge City Council on 14 January 2020, where Councillors will consider responses to the representations received and decide whether the SPD should be adopted.

Making space for people Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)  

Cambridge City Council alongside the Greater Cambridge Partnership are currently developing the Making Space for People SPD. The purpose of the SPD will be to prioritise the delivery of improvements to key public streets and spaces in Central Cambridge and to improve the walking and cycling network.

Cambridge City Council has carried out a consultation on a Making Space for People: Vision, Principles & Strategies document. This document included an emerging vision for Central Cambridge, and the principles and strategies which will underpin the future SPD.

The consultation ended on 14 October 2019.

The draft Making Space for People SPD will be prepared following the outcome of the consultation of this document as well as further consultation undertaken by the Greater Cambridge Partnership on wider city access measures.

We anticipate that the draft SPD will be published for public consultation in late 2020, after the representations from both consultations have been considered.

Neighbourhood Planning News in South Cambridgeshire

Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan

Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan is currently at the examination stage.

The examiner appointed to examine this Plan is Bob Yuille. In August he sent us a preliminary set of questions directed at both the Council and Histon & Impington Parish Council to help him understand the Plan. Responses to these questions have been sent to the examiner and are published on the Histon & Impington page on our website.

Further correspondence sent directly to the examiner regarding the policy on the Jam Factory has been published on 21 October Histon & Impington page.

The examiner sent some further questions on 24 October for both the Council and the parish council to respond to. The responses from both councils have been sent to the examiner and will be published on our website.

Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan

The Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan is currently at the examination stage.

South Cambridgeshire District Council appointed an independent examiner, Andrew Ashcroft, to carry out the examination of the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan.

For the most up to date news on the progress of this Plan please go to the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan page on our website.

If successful through examination the Plan will proceed towards a referendum.

Neighbourhood Planning Design Toolkit

The online Planning Practice Guidance has recently been updated and the section on Design revised (see National News section of this update). In this guidance mention is made of the important role that neighbourhood planning can have and there is a link to a special Design Toolkit.

“Neighbourhood plan-making is one of the key ways in which local character and design objectives can be understood and set out, and with the benefit of being a community- led process. The Neighbourhood Planning Design Toolkit provides a advice on using neighbourhood plans to best effect.”

Paragraph:004 Reference ID: 26-004-20191001

National News

Updated planning guidance on design

The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government has published updated planning guidance on design on 1 October 2019. This has two parts:

  1. National Design Guide - Well-designed places have individual characteristics which work together to create its physical character. The Guide sets out ten characteristics of well-designed places based on planning policy expectation – Context; Identity; Built Form; Movement; Nature; Public Space; Uses; Homes & Buildings: Resources and Lifespan. The Guide includes lots of examples of good practice with some from our area
  2. Design: Process and Tools. The online Planning Practice Guidance section on design has been updated and sets out how design quality can be achieved through policy and decision making. It includes tools for assessing and improving design quality and advice on community engagement on design.

Was this web page helpful?

The form contains errors