Monday, 9 December 2013

Cambridge Local Plan Recommended To Proceed To Next Stage

Feedback on the Cambridge Local Plan 2014 consultation undertaken this summer will be published today. On 17 December Cambridge City Council’s Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee will consider the key issues raised in almost 3,000 representations received to the latest version of the Cambridge Local Plan.

The sub-committee will consider whether the Cambridge Local Plan should proceed as drafted but with minor changes; whether it should be modified more significantly (which would involve a further stage of consultation) or should be abandoned and reconsidered.

Cllr Tim Ward, Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change, said: "This stage is an important one for the council. The committee stages that end with a special Full Council meeting on 13 February 2014 enable us to decide if the plan we approved in June is ready to be submitted for independent examination. The plan has to be an appropriate needs-led sustainable development strategy for the city. The responses to the summer consultation have largely confirmed the key issues we felt lay at the heart of developing a new plan for Cambridge."

The Cambridge Local Plan 2014 proposes a development strategy for 14,000 homes and 22,200 jobs to be provided within the city in the period to 2031. The main areas of feedback from the consultation undertaken over the summer were:

  • That the 14,000 homes and 22,200 jobs being planned were insufficient to meet Cambridge’s needs;
  • At the same time, arguments were also made that the local plan was proposing too much development for Cambridge;
  • That the proposed sites allocated in the plan are insufficient to meet Cambridge’s needs and that major sites in the Cambridge Green Belt at Barton Road, Fen Ditton, Waterbeach New Town, Cambridge South, Trumpington Meadows Sporting Village and Cambridge South East should also be brought forward and included in the plan;
  • That the Green Belt should be protected and sites GB1 – 4 (at Worts Causeway and Fulbourn Road) should not be taken forward;
  • That the Green Belt protection set out in the plan is excessive and has led to an unsustainable development strategy being proposed;
  • That the approach to major sites at Cambridge Northern Fringe East is objected to but there is support for the approach at land south of Coldham’s Lane;
  • The approach to planning for retail growth at the Grafton centre is both criticised and supported, with public realm improvements especially in the historic core and Market Square supported;
  • Objections from Cambridgeshire County Council on the need for the city council and South Cambridgeshire District Councils to make more provision for secondary education and household waste recycling;
  • More cycling provision wanted.

The council’s Head of Planning Services, Patsy Dell, is recommending that the plan proceed and be submitted for examination by the secretary of state. The council will consider this at Development Plan Scrutiny Sub-Committee on 17 December, Environment Scrutiny Committee on 14 January and Special Full Council on 13 February.