A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Agenda item

Agenda item

Cambridge Local Plan - Proposed Modifications - Report on Consultation March 2016.


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 work which had been undertaken on the objectively assessed need, green belt boundary and Development Strategy Document.

ii.            New proposed modifications to Cambridge City’s Local Plan included additional text in the Development Strategy, a modification to Policy GB2 to include Newbury Farm within the allocation, a correction to the housing number relating to the total housing provision in the Cambridge Urban Area and additional text related to listed buildings and the application of Policy 27.

iii.           Modifications to South Cambridgeshire’s Local Plan included the deferment of a decision on whether to include an allocation for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, additional text in the Development Strategy, a correction to the total housing provision in the Cambridge Urban Area and additional wording in Policy H/8 Housing Mix.


Members made the following comments in relation to the presentation:


Councillor Smart asked whether the deferral of allocation of the land south of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus would cause further delays to the local plan examination programme as the local plan process had already been going on for a long time.


Councillor Cearns expressed concerns regarding p16 of the proposed modifications and commented that the 3 Council’s were still at the mercy of developers.  The experience of Alconbury Wheel should be compared to the Northstowe development and not what can be determined through planning applications.


He also expressed concerns that the Code for Sustainable homes had been scrapped and that at the move away from affordable homes to starter homes.  Also concerns regarding stand-alone developments rather than development on the edge of the city.  


Councillor Herbert supported the modifications but questioned how the transport assessment of preferred options had come out, what the prospect was for the Council’s to deliver affordable rent housing and what was the timescale for the local plan as two years had passed without the plan being approved.  He also requested clarity on timescales for the local plan process for all 3 Councils.


Councillor Bates asked when the further work on the Biomedical Campus site would be completed and what the Inspector would be considering whether it was just the modifications or whether she would be considering other issues.


Councillor Wright commented that the modifications were minor and as they were so minor this proved that the local plan was sound.  He expressed concerns regarding the 5 year housing land supply.


Councillor Wotherspoon commented that work on strategic sites was not hanging around and that some sites were developing scoping opinions and development frameworks.


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

i.             The deferral of the decision on the allocation of the land south of the Biomedical Campus was a discrete issue and would either be deliverable or not.

ii.            Referred to p16 of the proposed modifications and the Inspector’s letter and stated that extra work had now been completed and addressed the issues that had been raised by the Inspector.

iii.          The Inspector wanted a transport assessment to look at edge of Cambridge and new settlements on a comparable basis, modelling was undertaken in November.  The County Council’s advice was that they were underestimating measures that would be needed.  The benefits and positive aspects which would arise from new settlements had been demonstrated.  Reference was made to Appendix E, item 4 Chapter 5 which set out the comparisons of new settlements and edge of Cambridge sites.

iv.          The Biomedical Campus was a County Council owned site and needed a further scoping however a timescale should be able to be provided by 23 March 2016. The Inspector had only been looking at the strategic issues so would need to consider other issues for example housing policies, historic environment, individual site allocations.  For the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan there were a lot of promoters for sites, there was a lot of work to do for each plan. 

v.           Understood the concerns regarding the 5 year housing land supply. Confirmed that a letter had been written to the Inspector requesting that that she provide an early finding on the joint trajectory.  The Council’s will continue to encourage a response on this issue but if one was not forthcoming then this may have to wait until next year for the Inspector to report on this issue.


Resolved (8 1 votes): The Joint Strategic Transport and Spatial Planning Group:


Considered the Report on Consultation at Appendix A, the proposed Modifications to the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans (Appendices B and C respectively) and the Supplement to the Sustainability Appraisal Addendum (Appendix E) and recommended that they were agreed by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council at their respective committee meetings on 14 March 2016 and Special Council meetings on 23 March 2016.

Supporting documents: