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Agenda item

Greater Cambridge Joint Local Plan


Matter for Decision

The report recommend that members confirm selected elements of the Greater Cambridge Local Plan development strategy via the Development Strategy Update (Regulation 18 Preferred Options).




Decision of the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Infrastructure


        i.         Agreed the Greater Cambridge Local Plan Development Strategy Update (Regulation 18 Preferred Options) (Appendix A), and in particular the proposed policy directions in section 5 for the following proposed policies:

a) Policy S/JH: Jobs and homes

b) Policy S/DS: Development strategy (to confirm three key sites and development strategy principles to inform identification of any further sites)

c) Policy S/NEC: North East Cambridge

d) Policy S/CE: Cambridge East

e) Policy S/CBC: Cambridge Biomedical Campus

      ii.         Noted the findings of Appendix E: Sustainability Appraisal Update as a supporting document that has informed the decisions regarding the Greater Cambridge Local Plan development strategy update

     iii.         Agreed the following supporting documents that have informed the decisions regarding the Greater Cambridge Local Plan Development Strategy Update:

a) Appendix B: Strategy Topic Paper: Development Strategy Update (Regulation 18 Preferred Options),

b) Appendix C: Greater Cambridge Local Plan Consultation Statement: Development Strategy Update (Regulation 18 Preferred Options) which includes responses to representations relating to the content of this report,

c) Appendix D: Greater Cambridge Local Plan Consultation Statement: Equalities Impact Assessment: Development Strategy Update

    iv.         Noted the findings of the following new evidence documents that have informed the draft policy approaches set out in Appendix A: Greater Cambridge Local Plan Development Strategy Update (Regulation 18 Preferred Options) (see Background papers):

a) Greater Cambridge Economic Development, Employment Land and Housing Relationships Evidence Update (Iceni Projects), December 2022

b) Greater Cambridge Housing Delivery Study Addendum (AECOM), December 2022

      v.         Agreed that any subsequent material amendments be made by the Executive Member for Planning and Transport, in consultation with Chair and Spokes.

    vi.         Agreed that any subsequent minor amendments and editing changes that do not materially affect the content be delegated to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development in consultation with the Executive Member for Planning and Transport, in consultation with Chair and Spokes.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Planning Policy Manager and Strategy and Economy Manager.


In response to Member’s questions the Planning Policy Manager, the Strategy and Economy Manager and Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development said the following:

      i.         Agreed there needed to be an acceptable solution to the water supply issue and a focus on sustainable locations for future development

    ii.         Noted the comment that revised forecasts should be seen as a positive with regards to the increase in homes and jobs which reflected the continued growth of a successful local economy.

   iii.         It was proposed that the draft plan should include strong water standards for residential (design standard of 80L per person per day) and non-residential development; currently exploring the issues raised in the representations.

  iv.         Officers were engaged with consultants who were continuing to develop the integrated water management study to inform the local plan. Officers were also continuing to engage with the water company and the Environment Agency.

    v.         Cambridge Water Company were aware of the need to reduce typical water usage across the area when developing their Water Management Plan, to assist with this aspiration they were rolling out the installation of smart meters.

  vi.         Not as simple to say that all the surrounding areas in Cambridgeshire had the same water resource issues as Greater Cambridge; Greater Cambridge is unique in being supplied solely by groundwater.. 

 vii.         Neighbouring local authorities had been contacted during preparation of the first proposals on a range of issues, including whether they could accommodate any of Cambridges planned growth and would need to be contacted again if the identified needs could not be met within the area in line with the requirements of National Planning Policy.

viii.         Regarding the suggestion to expand the plan period, this would also lead to the identified needs increasing would go up further. However, there was potential for that need to be spread and the suggestion would be explored.

  ix.         The local economy was experiencing a strong growth period. Consultants had looked at similar growth economies around the world and there would be a point of gradual slow down. Continued studies were likely to be required as the emerging Local Plan moved forward.

    x.         Consultants had looked at a range of growth scenarios that might play out across different industrial sectors to draw their conclusions.     

  xi.         To achieve a balance across the economy there was a need for other types of sectors to grow such as the industrial and warehouse sector. The Service would be looking at what could be done to support a variation of roles, not just the life sciences and clusters. 

 xii.         An entire range of infrastructure was being explored such as water, electricity, transport as examples when supporting healthy and sustainable communities.

xiii.         There were significant challenges to achieve water neutrality; in the short term it was expected to require work on reducing water consumption, and highlighting the importance of water recycling including grey water.

xiv.         In simple terms the economy in Cambridge would continue to grow and more homes were required. It was important to demonstrate the proposals were sound and deliverable having regard to the requirements for Local Plans set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

xv.         Welcomed comments on suggested formatting of the documentation.

xvi.         Noted the comment that accommodation linked to the commercial growth. The Genome Campus was an example of this.  Key worker provision was being discussed as part of exploring the rationale for the expansion of the biomedical campus.

xvii.         Officers were working to understand the housing need for all sectors of workers and how that need could be responded to.

xviii.         Believed there was a conversation to be had around acceleration of delivery of housing rates, recognising the limits of the market housing. However, it was not always in the interest of the development sector to build as many homes as might be required. There was also a limitation on the number of people able to get a mortgage and the number of people who wanted to purchase a property which must be considered amongst other factors.

xix.         The City Council had received public funding to supply an increase in council homes which was one of element of the housing need being identified from economic growth.

xx.         It was important to look at the rate and diversity of the portfolio of new homes that came forward at the same time to achieve an inclusive community.


The Committee


The Committee unanimously endorsed the Officer recommendations.


The Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport 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.


Supporting documents: