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Agenda item

Cambridge Local Plan Examination – Consideration of Further Work and Consequential Proposed Modifications

Appendices A – J attached separately.

Minutes:

The Committee received a joint report from the City’s Planning Policy Manager and SCDC’s Planning Policy Manager regarding the modifications to the Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans. 

 

The presentation covered:

 

i.  The further meetings through which the modifications to the Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans would be considered.

ii.  The strategic issues considered through the joint examination hearings which were held between November 2014 and April 2015.

iii.  The Inspector’s letter of 20 May 2015 which requested further work on the objectively assessed need for further housing, overall development strategy and conformity with revisions to National Planning Policy since the local plan was submitted for examination.

iv.  Outlined the proposed modification to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s housing need to 19,500 dwellings therefore a total of 33,500 dwellings were required in Greater Cambridge.

v.  Looked at the work undertaken by the independent consultants and the conclusion was that the development strategy in the submitted plan with limited modifications provided the right balance for the local plan.

vi.  Outlined the agreed memorandum of understanding regarding housing supply which took into account a flexible start date for the delivery of the new town at Waterbeach and the Bourn Airfield new settlement and also the work with Marshalls regarding the second area north of Cherry Hinton through which 1200 new dwellings should be delivered.

vii.  Outlined the modification proposed for an extension to the south of Cambridge Biomedical campus and the reduction in size of the employment land adjacent to Peterhouse Technology Park following the latest independent Green Belt assessment.

viii.  Noted Parish Council led proposals for three sites in Great Abington and one site in Graveley.

ix.  Outlined conformity with National Planning Policy.

x.  Highlighted the proposed timetable for consultation on the modifications to the local plan between 2 December 2015 and 25 January 2016 and public exhibitions held by South Cambridgeshire District Council and City Council. 

 

Members made the following comments in relation to the presentation:

 

  i.  Expressed confidence in the local plan work which had been undertaken following the Planning Inspectors letter in May 2015 and hoped that the Planning Inspector would be persuaded that the plan was sound.

  ii.  The new settlements policy had been strengthened.

  iii.  The strategy relied on good transport links and substantial infrastructure, it was questioned whether the City Deal funding would be able to deliver the necessary transport infrastructure.

  iv.  Expressed concern at disproportionate growth in student accommodation.

  v.  Expressed dissatisfaction in the short length of time members had had to read through the agenda for the meeting.

  vi.  Surprised there was no change to the Green Belt allocation.

  vii.  Emphasized the need for affordable housing.

  viii.  Commented that houses needed to be built in Cambridge that people on low incomes could afford.

  ix.  Pleased to see Marshall’s were for the time being to remain on their site, which provided 3500 skilled jobs.

 

In response to Members’ questions the City’s Planning Policy Manager and SCDC’s Planning Policy Manager said the following:

 

  i.  The new settlement transport report, undertook further transport modelling and looked at City Deal Schemes.

  ii.  The green belt was considered against edge of Cambridge sites.

  iii.  Bus trips were also looked at, this included park and ride locations set alongside the edge of Cambridge sites, better transport links were required.

  iv.  The infrastructure delivery strategy was capable of coming forward and would include affordable housing developments. Developer’s contributions would be looked into as well as other possible sources of funding. 

  v.  The modifications for land North of Cherry Hinton included a requirement for a Secondary School to serve east Cambridge.  This was a work in progress.  The County Council, Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire District Councils were working together as it could depend on the growth and housing mix which could impact on child yield.

  vi.  Student Accommodation was not a particular issue that the Planning Inspector had raised as an issue at this stage but it would come up as part of the process later on in 2016.

  vii.  The challenges in delivering new settlements were not underestimated however there was plenty of experience following the development at Cambourne and the planning applications at Northstowe.

 viii.  Clarified the location where the County Council had proposed to locate the waste facility.

  ix.  Councils could always be at risk of speculative planning applications wherever they were in the local plan process, and officers were aware that there were landowners who had promoted proposals on sites which were not allocated in the local plan. 

  x.  South Cambridgeshire District Council had a good reputation for delivering affordable housing on rural exception sites.

 

Resolved: The Joint Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group recommended that the consultation document with proposed modifications (Appendix A) and sustainability appraisal (Appendix B) be agreed by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council at their respective committee meetings on 17 November 2015.

Supporting documents: