There are efforts to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough more connected and to spread the economic success of Cambridge across the County. It remains a growth area and continues to receive central Government commitment for significant infrastructure improvements. With investment there is an expectation for growth and for Local Plans to spearhead it. The on-going Local Plan process will start to show if the individual authorities share the overarching economic aspirations.
Things you need to know:
1. Infrastructure – Cambridgeshire is seeing a huge investment in infrastructure and a plan for continued major improvements. This will direct, more than even, where new homes and jobs will go.
2. Housing – Greater Cambridge is yet to confirm what amount of housing it needs for the next Local Plan period. The housing number for Greater Cambridge will ultimately be led by the efforts of the Authorities to truly achieve the economic growth aspirations.
3. Sustainability – Environmental matters have never been so prominent, all underpinned by the 2050 zero-carbon direction. The upcoming Local Plans will be a test to see whether a new policy framework will emerge to put the strong rhetoric into action.
The Local Plan for Cambridge was adopted on 18 October 2018 and covers the period until 2031. The council is now preparing a joint Local Plan with South Cambridgeshire District Council.
The situation is the same as for Cambridge City as the two councils are preparing a joint Local Plan.
Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District has become one shared planning service under the banner of Greater Cambridge. The councils are now preparing a joint Local Plan. The first of two Regulation 18 Issues and Options Consultations took place at the start of 2020 focussed around the Council’s preferred ‘four big themes':
- Climate Change
- Biodiversity and Green Spaces
- Wellbeing and Social Inclusion
- Great Places
A second Regulation 18 consultation is expected in Autumn this year, followed by a Regulation 19 (Preferred Options) in summer 2021, Examination in 2022 and adoption in Autumn 2023.
The Fenland Local Plan was adopted on 8 May 2014 and covers the period from 2011-2031.
An emerging Local Plan is currently under preparation, with an Issues and Options consultation having taken place from October/November 2019. A Call for Sites exercise was held as part of this consultation, including nominations of Local Green Spaces and views on the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report.
The Stage 1 SHELAA Report (Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment) sets out all site submissions received during the Call for Sites exercise, and other available sites such as existing Local Plan allocations and major sites with planning permission. At this stage, no assessment has been carried out to determine the suitability of submitted sites. The findings of the site assessment process will be set out in a 'Stage 2' SHELAA report, which will be published alongside the draft Local Plan. The Council's preferred sites will be included in the draft version of the Local Plan.
The Council has a Local Plan Development Scheme which was updated in April 2020. Due to the COVID 19 crisis the draft Local Plan consultation (Regulation 18) scheduled to take place in summer 2020 has now been postponed until further notice, but an examination is expected to begin in May 2021, with the adoption of the Local Plan scheduled for February 2022.
Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 was adopted on the 15th May 2019 and is not expected to be subject to an early review.
The Peterborough Local Plan to 2036 was adopted on 24 July 2019 and is not expected to be subject to an early review.
The East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 became five years old on the 21 April 2020. As required by the NPPF, the Council needs to undertake a five-year review of the Local Plan to determine if a new or partial Local Plan is required. Officers are recommending that a partial review is undertaken to Local Plan Policy Growth1, to update their housing requirement figure from an OAN position to the now NPPF directed LHN position. It is set to be a topic-focussed review framed around one strategic matter.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Non-Statutory Spatial Plan
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Non-Statutory Spatial Plan Part 2 is under preparation and was due to be publicised by now. There is no formal position by the Authority for when the delayed Part 2 may yet emerge. In any event, as a non-statutory document, there is no requirement for formal consultation, and it will not carry the status of a Development Plan Document.
Guy Kaddish, Rob Hopwood and Alison Wright discuss the progress with emerging Local Plans coming forward in Cambridgeshire.