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Preparation of the Local Plan 2018 - Overview

On 27 September 2018, the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan was adopted and the Adopted Policies Map was agreed for publication.

Stages in the Preparation of the Local Plan

The following stages have been undertaken in preparing the new Local Plan.

1. Evidence Gathering

Evidence gathering and preparation of the Local Plan began in 2011. The Local Plan is supported by a range of evidence base and supporting studies.

2. Issues & Options Consultations

Three rounds of public consultation on issues and options for the Local Plan were undertaken:

Through these consultations we sought your views on options for how the district should be developed over the next 20 years.

Previous to this, we had undertaken two rounds of public consultation in 2006 and 2009 on issues and options for Gypsy and Traveller planning policies and proposals to inform the preparation of a Gypsy and Traveller DPD. In January 2012, we made the decision that planning policies and proposals for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation should be included in the Local Plan rather than in a separate DPD.

3. Proposed Submission Consultation

Public consultation on the Proposed Submission Local Plan was undertaken in July - October 2013. This consultation provided an opportunity to comment on the draft Local Plan, including its policies and land allocations.

4. Submission of the Local Plan

On 28 March 2014, the Local Plan and its supporting documents were submitted for independent examination to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government via the Planning Inspectorate.

The Secretary of State appointed Laura Graham BSC MA MRTPI as the Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate to carry out an independent examination of the Local Plan. She was assisted by Alan Wood MSC FRICS. The Inspectors task was to establish whether the Local Plan is ‘sound’, taking into consideration comments made on the Proposed Submission Local Plan.

Miss Graham and Mr Wood asked us and objectors a series of questions as set out in the Inspectors' Matters & Issues, and as a result have received written statements and heard evidence at examination hearings held between November 2014 and July 2017.

The Inspectors have now considered the evidence received and reported on their findings. Subject to a number of modifications, the Inspectors have concluded that the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the area.

6. Adoption of the Local Plan

The Council will now have a final opportunity to discuss the Local Plan, but there is no further opportunity to make additional changes unless they are typographic in nature. The options available to Members now are to adopt or reject the Local Plan (including the Modifications as stipulated by the Inspectors).

The South Cambridgeshire Local Plan will be presented to a Cabinet meeting on Monday 24 September 2018 before a final decision on adoption is made at a Council meeting on Thursday 27 September 2018.

Sustainability Appraisal

Sustainability Appraisal is an integral part of the plan making process and its overall aim is to help ensure that the Local Plan makes an effective contribution to delivering 'sustainable development'. By assessing the extent to which emerging policies and proposals will help to achieve 'sustainable development', and by understanding the potential adverse effects these emerging policies and proposals might create, the Sustainability Appraisal process provides opportunities for plans to be improved.

  • Scoping Report - this identifies issues of particular importance to the district that should be considered and provides the context for the Sustainability Appraisal undertaken at each of the stages in the plan making process.

  • Initial Sustainability Appraisal Report - this is undertaken alongside the Issues & Options stage of plan making and provides information and analysis of issues, details of how alternative approaches were identified (and why alternatives were not considered reasonable), and a comparison of the potential impacts of those alternatives approaches.

  • Draft Final Sustainability Appraisal Report - this is undertaken alongside the draft plan stage of plan making and assesses the draft policies and allocations selected for the final plan, considering the likely significant effects of the plan as a whole, how they can be mitigated or enhanced, and how impacts can be monitored. At this point the appraisal identifies reasons why an option is eliminated.

  • Monitoring - the results of regular monitoring of the sustainability appraisal objectives are published in the Annual Monitoring Report, and are used to help indicate when a review of the plan is required.