News and updates

Greater Cambridge Planning Policy Update

(Last updated 6 May 2020)

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 serves 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.

Both Councils have published information on how they are responding to the Coronavirus situation, including what they are doing to help communities and businesses, and how it is affecting services. For the latest information, visit Cambridge City Council’s Coronavirus updates webpage and / or South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Coronavirus webpage.

Specific information relating to how the Coronavirus situation is affecting services provided by the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service is also published on Cambridge City Council’s website and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s website.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning News

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to prepare a joint Local Plan for the Greater Cambridge area.

Consultation ended in February 2020 on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The First Conversation. We asked about the kind of place we want Greater Cambridge to be in the future. It explored the ‘big themes’ – climate change, biodiversity, social inclusion and great places – that will influence how homes, jobs and infrastructure are planned, and where growth might go.  

We are now processing the large volume of feedback and comments we have received and are preparing a report on the consultation results.

A report will be considered by members in June 2020 providing an update on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan ‘The First Conversation’ consultation, including some of the key findings. It will also consider the process and timetable for plan making moving forward

North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to prepare an Area Action Plan for North East Cambridge. An Issues & Options consultation was held in 2019.

In June 2020 members will be considering a report on the next stages for this plan, and will be asked to approve a draft version of the Area Action Plan for public consultation in the summer.

Neighbourhood Planning News in South Cambridgeshire

New government guidance due to Covid-19

There are some important changes to neighbourhood planning that we want to bring to your attention:

  • Regulations linked to the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean that no elections or referendums can take place until 6 May 2021. This includes neighbourhood planning referendums. These provisions will be kept under review and may be amended or revoked in response to changing circumstances.
  • The government understand this will be frustrating for communities that have dedicated significant time and effort to the neighbourhood planning process and naturally want their plans to come into force as soon as possible. With this in mind, the government have updated current planning guidance to set out that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision-making.
  • The government recognise there will be delays in progressing neighbourhood plans due to the social distancing measures currently in place across the UK. The updated planning guidance also provides further advice on the implications for conducting publicity and consultation, and examinations.
  • Grants and technical support will continue to be available to support communities during the next financial year, and Locality’s advice service continues to operate as normal.

Temporary suspension of the Foxton Neighbourhood Plan consultation

Foxton Parish Council submitted its neighbourhood plan to South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) on 10 February 2020 along with its supporting documents.

In response to Covid-19 restrictions, the consultation on Foxton Neighbourhood Plan (Submission public consultation - Regulation 16) has been temporarily suspended. It was due to close at 5pm on the 28 April 2020. This is to ensure that the full terms of the current regulatory requirements can be met. Representations made up to this point will still be counted, and we have notified those who have already responded. We will also let them know when the consultation re-opens in case they wish to amend or submit further comments.

Reflecting the fact that two weeks were completed prior to current Government restrictions, when the consultation re-opens it is anticipated that it will run for a period of an additional 4 weeks to ensure the full 6 weeks are available.

We will keep the situation under review, including any further guidance received from Government on Neighbourhood Planning processes during these challenging times.

For more information see the Foxton Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan

The referendum on the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan was due to take place on 26 March 2020, however this referendum was suspended due to the Coronavirus situation.  

However in light of the new guidance published by MHCLG as SCDC had issues a decision statement setting out its intention to send the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan to referendum this plan can be given significant weight in decision making so far as the plan is material to the application.  

For the most up to date news on the progress of this plan please go to the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan

The Examiner’s report on the Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan was received on 9 March 2020.

We are working with the Parish Council to prepare a referendum version of the plan which will form part of the decision report for South Cambridgeshire District Council to agree whether the plan should proceed to referendum.  

For the most up to date news on the progress of this plan please go to the Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

Regional News

Uttlesford Local Plan

Uttlesford District Council on the 30th April voted to withdraw their Local Plan from its examination. This follows a letter from their Examination Inspectors in January.  The report recommends that the Council begin work on a new Local Plan with a target date for adoption of around December 2023. 

The agenda for their meeting and report pack are on their website.

Last updated 16 March 2020


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 by the Councils

Foxton Neighbourhood Plan

Foxton Parish Council submitted its neighbourhood plan to South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) on 10 February 2020 along with its supporting documents. We are carrying out a six-week consultation on this plan. This consultation started at 9am on 10 March and closes at 5pm on 28 April 2020 For more information see the Foxton Neighbourhood Plan page on our website.


Current Consultations by others


Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM)


The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has begun a consultation on the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro. Information about the consultation is available on the Public Consultation page of the Joint Authority.
The deadline for comments is Friday 3 April 2020.


Forthcoming consultations by the Councils

No forthcoming consultations.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning News

Joint Greater Cambridge Local Plan – 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.
On Monday 24 February 2020 consultation ended on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The First Conversation. We asked about the kind of place we want Greater Cambridge to be in the future. It explored the ‘big themes’ – climate change, biodiversity, social inclusion and great places - that will influence how homes, jobs and infrastructure are planned, and where growth might go.

During the consultation we took a pop-up ‘roadshow’ to places around the area including shopping centres, schools, community centres and other places where we could reach out to as many people as possible. Thank you for everyone who came along. The team had some really interesting conversations and captured a lot of feedback.

We also held a ‘Big Debate’ on the evening of 18 February, where a selection of local groups shared their ideas with a packed Cambridge Corn Exchange about what should be in the Local Plan, in a fun, provocative and lively public event.

We will now be processing and collating the large volume of feedback and comments we have received on the Issues and Options consultation and preparing a report on the consultation results.

Neighbourhood Planning News in South Cambridgeshire

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.

The final examiner’s report is published on our website. The Examiner concludes that the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum subject to a series of recommended modifications set out in the report.
The referendum on the Cottenham Neighbourhood Plan will take place on 26 March 2020.

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

Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan

Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan is currently at the examination stage.
The examiner appointed to examine this Plan is Bob Yuille. He has sent a number of questions directed at both the Council and Histon & Impington Parish Council to help him understand the Plan. Responses to these questions have been made and sent to the examiner. Also, further correspondence has been sent to the examiner during the examination period. All the responses and correspondence are published on our website.
We are awaiting now for the Examiner’s Report. For the most up to date news on the progress of this Plan please go to the Histon & Impington Neighbourhood Plan page on our website.

Waterbeach Neighbourhood Plan

Waterbeach Parish Council completed the Pre-Submission consultation on their Neighbourhood Plan on 24 February 2020. The Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed on the Parish Council’s dedicated website.

Regional News

East West Rail

A Preferred Route Option for the East West Rail link between Bedford and Cambridge was announced on 30 January 2020. This will lead to the Government making a final decision on whether to take this project forward and to make an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO).
The route is expected to link existing stations in Bedford and Cambridge with proposed new stations at Cambourne and near to St Neots. There is much more information on their website explaining why this preferred route option was chosen, what will happen next and links to a number of documents relating to the scheme.

Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM)

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has begun a consultation on the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro. Information about the consultation is available on the dedicated CAM website of the Joint Authority.
As part of the consultation the Joint Authority is seeking the public’s views on

  • The need for and benefits of CAM; and
  • The potential route alignments for the City Tunnel Section of CAM.
  • There have been exhibitions taking place during March on the proposed scheme. The final one yet to take place is:
  • 11 March – Cambridge Science Park, St Johns Innovation Centre, Cowley Road, Cambridge CB4 0WS from 12pm – 3.30pm

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