Plans that would see 19,000 homes built in South Cambridgeshire, including sites in Sawston and the Abingtons, could soon be submitted.
The local plans sets out how the district should develop over the next 20 years, and on Monday (February 3) it was recommended that South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) submits its plans to central Government for an independent examination.
The draft local plan would see 22,000 new jobs and 19,000 new homes in the district up to 2031, which include 540 homes in Sawston.
Two new proposals have been added to the Local Plan, with one for 53 homes across three sites in the Abingtons.
Great and Little Abington parish councils requested the trio of sites which will include both market and affordable housing. Plots on Linton Road and the corner of High Street and Pampisford Road could see 47 homes built with a further six at Bancroft Farm in Church Lane.
The report by SCDC director of planning policy and new communities Jo Mills said that comments raised during the consultation, along with SCDC’s legal responsibility to prepare a plan that meets the long term needs of the district, had been taken into account to make sure the plan is best for the area as a whole.
At next Tuesday’s (February 11) meeting Cllr Pippa Corney, SCDC cabinet member for planning policy and localism, will assess whether views given during the latest consultation have raised new issues which will need to be consulted on again, or whether the plan is ready for submission.
During two earlier rounds of public consultation during 2012 and 2013, over 30,000 responses were received to help shape the draft plans put forward.
More people preferred SCDC to focus on a plan to provide the necessary homes as part of new towns or villages, rather than excessive development in the green belt around Cambridge, or spreading lots of homes around existing villages.
The 5,000 new homes proposed in the draft plan are in addition to 14,000 homes already committed to in locations such as on the edge of Cambridge and at the new town of Northstowe.
SCDC officers have also suggested retaining proposals which would see 900 homes built in six of the district’s larger villages which have the best services and public transport links.
If the report is supported by Cllr Corney at her portfolio holder’s meeting it will then be presented to a meeting of SCDC on March 13, which would decide whether to submit the plan.
Cllr Corney said: “We know it is unrealistic to expect to prepare a plan that has complete consensus, but we have been listening to all views throughout this long process of consultation.
“We’ve received equal and opposing views, which we recognise are strongly felt, but the task we now have is to weigh all those factors up to decide whether the plan is sound, deliverable and will maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in the area.
“Our economy makes the district one of the fastest growing in the country so high quality and well-connected homes are much needed to continue our success.
“It is great to see parish councils for The Abingtons and Graveley coming forward with plans for how they want to meet their specific local needs as we are very keen to support their aspirations.
“I’m very pleased over 7,000 comments were received during the latest round of consultation as if we decide the plan is ready to be submitted to government these will be considered by an independent planning inspector.”
All representations made during the consultations can be viewed online at www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 13) Echo.