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Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document – Draft Document for Consultation

04/10/2019 - Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document – Draft Document for Consultation

Matter for Decision

  i.  The report presented the draft Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation purposes.  The SPD was being prepared to provide guidance on the implementation of policies related to climate change and sustainable design and construction within the adopted Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans in order to support the Greater Cambridge growth agenda and delivery of sustainable development. 


Decision of Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces




  i.  To agree the draft Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD (attached at Appendix 1 to the Officer’s report)  for consultation purposes;

  ii.  that the consultation period will take place between Monday 15 July and Monday 23 September 2019;

 iii.  that the Joint Director of Planning and Economic

Development be granted delegated authority, in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, and the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee, to make any editing changes to the draft SPD and supporting documents prior to publication and to agree the Statement and Consultation and draft Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and draft Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) Screenings Reports for consultation alongside the draft SPD, including with the three statutory bodies.


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 Senior Sustainability Officer.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Members expressed regret that national policy frustrated local ambition to deliver higher standards of sustainable development.

  ii.  Suggested that the consultation documents should be sent to local voluntary groups including Camsight.


The Senior Sustainability Officers stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The report would return to this Committee in January for adoption following the consultation period.

  ii.  The introduction to the document addresses the integration of sustainability considerations into the design of new developments from the outset, with reference to the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) works plan.

  iii.  The SPD concentrates on the built environment with wider environmental concerns being addressed elsewhere.

  iv.  Policy 30 would not apply to extensions built under permitted development rights. However, there was a possibility that this could be covered under building regulations at a future date.

  v.  A ‘Forword’ would be added to the document at a later stage and this would set out the Council’s ambition to encourage exemplar applications.

  vi.  Confirmed that the document would add weight to the Local Plan and would influence the next Local Plan.

 vii.  The proposals had been subjected to viability assessments. However, it was acknowledged that these might be challenged by developers.

viii.  Confirmed that Equality Impact Assessments had been included in the documentation.

  ix.  Suggested that the document would not be considered a material consideration until formally adopted but that it would gain weight to decision making process the nearer it came to adoption.


The Planning Policy Manager stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The SPD would supplement the adopted Local Plan which includes a wider commitment to sustainability in future joint Local Plans.


Councillor Hipkin stated that he felt that the discussion on this very important document had been cut short and that he had not been able to ask all of his questions.  The Chair stated that he had not seen the Councillor indicate his wish to speak and invited him to ask his final questions before moving to the vote.


Councillor Hipkin stated the following:

  i.  Enforcement would be problematic given staffing constraints.

  ii.  Asked if the environmental standards delivered on the University development at Eddington could be required elsewhere.

  iii.  Suggested that the Council, in its role as a developer, should be exemplar and should deliver to the same standard as that achieved by the University.


The Senior Sustainability Officers responded. Requirements for Eddington had been based on a national policy document that was no longer available. The Planning Inspector had removed some of the more challenging standards from the Local Plan.


The Strategic Director accepted that Eddington was an outstanding scheme but stated that due to the very high costs, it was not accessible to many people. The Council needed to deliver viable accommodation for local people.


The Executive Councillor thanked the Committee for their thorough debate on this item which would be relevant to the next Local Plan.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the amended recommendations.


The Executive Councillor 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.