Greater Cambridge Local Plan report highlights next stage of development for county

South Cambs Council leader Bridget Smith.

South Cambs Council leader Bridget Smith. - Credit: Archant

Next steps have been published for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan to determine how and where future homes and jobs will be created.

A consultation ran earlier this year as part of the process to develop the Local Plan – which is the first joint Local Plan between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire district councils – and a report was published on May 22.

During the six-week consultation, residents were asked to comment on where they thought development should or should not happen, and for how many years the plan should be in place. Once finalised, the Local Plan will set out where homes, business space, community facilities, shops and leisure facilities can be built – while also providing policies to guide how development should address environmental, social and economic issues.

Around 7,000 comments were received, and the council used these to identify key areas to be explored during development. These include building on existing urban areas, and potentially building on Green Belt when it is sustainable in terms of transport to reduce car travel from locations further away.

The most commented-on issues were infrastructure such as road and cycle networks, education and health provision, followed by homes and climate change. Many responses also said that continuing economic growth was important, although some raised questions about whether it was desirable.

The report – which was published ahead of a meeting of the Joint Local Planning Advisory Group on June 2 – also outlines a proposed timeline for the next stages of the Local Plan process, which is subject to approval by councillors in June.

Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins, lead cabinet member for planning at South Cambridgeshire district council, said: “We really wanted to put community engagement at the heart of this process because it’s so useful for councillors and planners to hear directly from residents on your experiences of development where you live and work.

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“We know this is a lengthy process so, for now, we just wanted to update everyone who took part earlier in the year on what happens next.

“We’ll make sure to let everyone know in the autumn once we have more to share.”