Fears raised that suspension of South Cambs Local Plan could signal more housing

Jose Hales

Jose Hales - Credit: Archant

A Melbourn councillor has spoken of his concerns that a potential revision of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan could mean more houses earmarked for the village.

The plan has been suspended following acceptance by Local Plan inspectors that ‘more work needs to be done’ to explore other options to the development strategy.

The inspectors want to see evidence that alternative options of building extra homes on the edge of Cambridge have been considered to the same extent as proposed allocations for more homes in new town and new village locations.

This came out as a preferred option during early public consultations, so more focus was given to drafting this up as a viable plan.

Councillor Jose Hales, who represents Melbourn on South Cambs District Council and the parish council, said: “I’m very worried that more applications will come as a result, because the fear is that the plan is falling by the wayside. We thought everything was fine. It could take another two years to come up with another plan.”

Councillor Robert Turner, South Cambs District Council’s lead member for planning, said: “Although it is unfortunate that further work is needed, we are pleased that the inspectors have given this information at this stage in the examination.

“It is still too early to jump to any conclusions until we carry out the work needed and as soon as we have more information we will share it with our communities.”

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An extraordinary meeting will be held on Thursday at 6pm at the South Cambridgeshire District Council’s office in Cambourne for councillors to discuss the potential impact of the suspension.

Councillor Hales and representatives from Melbourn Parish Council are asking people in the village to have their say on whether they want to introduce a Neighbourhood Plan.

The plan would allow communities to propose sites for development and suggest what type of housing they want to introduce.

Councillor Hales said: “It’s an alternative to the developers driving the plan, as we live here and they don’t.”