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Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme and Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals representations

Meeting: 28/06/2022 - Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee (Item 19)

19 Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme and Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals representations pdf icon PDF 437 KB

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Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the results of the consultation on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals (Preferred Options) held in late 2021 and the representations received, and sought agreement to a revised timetable for future stages of the Local Plan, and of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, as set out in an update to the Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme.


Decision of the Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure.

      i.         Noted the representations made to the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals (Preferred Options) consultation and the report on the consultation at Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

    ii.         Agreed to adopt the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix 2 of the Officer’s report, to take effect from Monday 1st August 2022.

   iii.         Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in consultation with the South Cambridgeshire District Council Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure (in consultation with chair and spokes), to make any minor editing changes and corrections identified to the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix 1 of the report prior to publication.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable


Scrutiny Considerations

The report had been split into two parts with the Planning Policy Manager presenting the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals and the Strategy and Economy Manager leading on the Local Development Scheme. 


In response to comments made by the Committee on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals, the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development and Planning Policy Manager said the following:


               i.         In the consultation there was a clear theme on ‘great places’ which looked to expand ideas on design policy.

             ii.         Noted the Committee’s comments on specific feedback and views in the document. All feedback would be looked at which would help outline the design policy and make it work for places.

            iii.         There had been a lot of work undertaken on the future need for homes and the increase in population as the emerging plan had been developed.

           iv.         Officers were aware that new information on population growth was constantly emerging; the latest results from the Office of National Statistics had just been published.

             v.         The most up to date information would be considered regarding housing needs and jobs growth as examples; further work on this had been recently commissioned.

           vi.         Acknowledged there would be a huge amount of content for members to reflect upon. This Committee did not meet frequently enough to consider reviewing the responses to the document on a topic-by-topic basis.

          vii.         A programme of engagement was being considered for the Joint Local Planning Advisory Group; this meant the document could be broken down into smaller themes for consideration. This would also give access to deeper analysis of all the published comments received.

        viii.         All details of the consultation and each proposal could be found on the Greater Cambridge planning services website. Full detailed comments could also be viewed including any documents submitted. The website also provided details of new sites with a link to the details and an interactive map. The relevant plan could be found at the following link:

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

           ix.         Noted that Members welcomed the comments made by the public to discourage car travel on new sites. The issue of energy, water efficiency and where children played was a high priority and was noted. 

             x.         With regard to individuals who disagreed with the need of building  additional new homes each year, all feedback would assist officers when exploring the evidence and would be viewed as part of the overall package. Both negative and positive comments were taken into consideration.

           xi.         The age profile information submitted was a voluntary part of the submission forms and therefore members should be aware that this data was not a complete picture of all respondents.

          xii.         Noted the comments that it was important to capture the views of younger people; the plan was for future generations.

        xiii.         Welcomed suggestions on where to leave hard copies of future consultations / documents in the local community.

        xiv.         Was keen to explore ways to improve digital means and engagement for all, including non-digital and digital users.

         xv.         Acknowledged the request to show a geographical breakdown of responses and which groups had commented such as residents, businesses, and developers, that that this would be explored as issues were summarised and explored further. 


Councillor Smith reminded the Committee there would be an opportunity to update the emerging local plan when it came to the draft plan stage and any new evidence would be considered.


In response to comments made by the Committee on the revised timetable of the future stages of the emerging Local Plan and North East Cambridge Area Action Plan, the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development and Strategy and Economy Manager said the following:


      i.         Updates to the Local Plan need to follow the local plan process. To give weight to the development plan there are no shortcuts and could not be updated rapidly. The procedure officers are currently undertaking had to be followed.

    ii.         When making planning decisions, the NPPF would trump a five-year-old plus Local Plan unless it could be evidenced that it was up to date. Wanted to safeguard that local policy making was retained rather than national policy, so the proposed policy review of the adopted Local Plan in 2023 would be an important process.

   iii.         Policy standards in the current plans could not be changed before the local plan process is complete but could make sure the development strategy, housing trajectory, the protection of space and greenbelt etc had priority in planning making decisions.

  iv.         Officers would be keeping up to date with any changes to the NPPF and statutory changes to the planning regime which might assist Members with their planning decisions.

    v.         As the emerging Local Plan progressed though the latter stages some consideration could be given to emerging polices as they potentially gain weight as a plan reaches later stages of the review process.

  vi.         Recognised the economy in Cambridge was vibrant; changes in consumer behaviour and the housing market were also an element that Officers had to take into consideration.   

 vii.         Officers were continually working with various utilities providers, statutory agencies including the Environment Agency and Cambridge Water to look at a range of issues such as water consumption, climate change, carbon net zero.  Planning was however only one part of the regulatory framework used to advance changes necessary in infrastructure.

viii.         Welcomed cross party working and agreement through the process. 



The Committee


Unanimously endorsed the Officers recommendations. 


The Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.