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Greater Cambridge Local Plan – consultation

Meeting: 02/12/2021 - East Area Committee (Item 61)

Presentation: Greater Cambridge Local Plan by Greater Cambridge Planning Services

To welcome officers from the Greater Cambridge Planning Service who will provide a broad outline of the Greater Cambridge Plan and the formal consultation; how to signpost on how residents and businesses can comment.


This will be followed by a question and answer session.


The Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals consultation can be found on the Greater Cambridge Planning website: https://www.greatercambridgeplanning.org/localplan



The Committee received a report from the Strategy and Economy Manager regarding the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals consultation. Further information regarding the consultation could be found via: Greater Cambridge Local Plan (greatercambridgeplanning.org)


In response to Members’ questions the Strategy and Economy Manger said the following:

  i.  The preferred options documents provided a summary on the position of the water supply issue and more detail within the topic paper supporting the plan.

  ii.  Water Resources East were currently developing a management plan ready for publication due August 2022.

  iii.  Work on the reservoir had started through a ‘rapid process’, through Cambridge Water and Anglian Water and the current water management plan.

  iv.  Water Resources East were looking at a range of issues including water lost through leakage, agricultural use, water efficiency measures, and giving a wider message that water is a scare resource that we should all use cautiously.


Members of the public asked several questions, as set out below


Re Cambridge United FC's women's team, for as long as I can remember the team has had to play its home matches outside of the city, sometimes outside of the county. What scope within the local plan is there for a new ground for the club, esp given the rising popularity of women's football and the number of women and girls taking up the sport?


The reference to identify the Abbey Stadium as a development opportunity would potentially give the opportunity to look at both the men’s’ and women’s team. There were no specific proposals for a new stadium, however the issue could be looked at further as the Plan developed. 


Was the previous local plan (2006) a success? Is there a report that you can publish and publicise that highlights whether the city built the amount of social housing the plan said was needed? Did it build the overall number of homes that was planned?


This Plan first proposed the Major Urban Extension such as Clay Farm, Eddington Darwin Green, and development north of Cherry Hinton to name a few examples. There had been a success in bringing those developments to fruition. Cambridge always had a five-year supply of land and was on track with the targets. 


Annual Monitoring Reports were published every year to show how the plans were performing. 


I am concerned about the accuracy of some of your consultants' reports, on leisure facilities such as swimming pools, and Cambridge's night life. I am concerned that your consultants are not sufficiently modelling for demand for such facilities that comes from outside Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire. What is the formal process for challenging the conclusions of consultants?


Members of the public were encouraged to make comments on the 

evidence based documents through the First Proposals Consultation process and express any concerns they had.


In the New Local Plan, how will existing Policy 23 be carried forward to strengthen protection of (a) the northern half of St Matthew's Piece (*not* a designated "potential development site”; cf Fig. 3.9 in the 2018 Local Plan) and (b) the New Street allotments? Should both areas be removed from the “Eastern Gate Opportunity Area"? If other explicit protections would be more effective, what are they and how would this be achieved?


Existing local plans placed a high priority on the protection and enhancement of green spaces, and this is proposed to be continued by the First Proposals. The proposal to continue the Eastern Gate Opportunity Area in the First Proposals Policy S/OA: Opportunity Areas in Cambridge, which included the green spaces identified, does not infer that the Councils are proposing development for these spaces. Inclusion of these green spaces within the Opportunity Area are rather to ensure that this area is considered in the context of any development.


The adopted Plan explicitly protects St Matthew’s Piece and New Street allotments as Protected Open Spaces, and the policy directions set out in the First Proposals including Policy BG/PO: Protecting open spaces and Policy BG/GI: Green Infrastructure – which sought respectively to protect open spaces, and to support protection and enhancement of existing green infrastructure including allotments, show that it is highly likely that the Greater Cambridge Local Plan would do the same.

Views on the proposed approaches set out above via  consultation website.


In the New Local Plan, how can existing Policy 60 (on Tall Buildings) be strengthened so that it is actually applied per its wording (i.e, when a proposal does significantly exceed the surrounding built form)?


Adopted Local Plan policies including Policy 60 were matters for consideration at the planning application stage.

For the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan, the First Proposals Great Places theme includes a number of proposed policies relevant to design, and Policy GP/PP: People and place responsive designproposes the approach to tall buildings. These proposals would be developed into draft policies following the consultation. Opinions on the proposed policies could be placed on the consultation website so that Offices could take them into account in preparing the draft plan, including how tall buildings should be approached