South Cambridgeshire local plan submitted to Government

Concept art of Cambridge City's proposed Sawston ground
Concept art of Cambridge City's proposed Sawston ground

Plans for 22,000 new jobs and 19,000 new homes in South Cambs until 2031 are to be submitted to Government for independent examination.

South Cambridgeshire District Councillors (SCDC) voted to submit the plan, which includes more than 500 homes in Sawston, to the Secretary of State at a full council meeting last Thursday (13).

Cllr Pippa Corney

Cllr Pippa Corney

At the meeting, councillors heard how the range of opposing views submitted during three extensive rounds of public consultation had shown that it is not possible to prepare a plan that has complete consensus, but all comments had been taken into account to help prepare the best plan for the area as a whole.

SCDC will submit the plan to Government around the end of March, and then the Secretary of State will appoint an independent planning inspector to carry out an examination of it.

This will include holding a series of public hearings, which are anticipated later this year, as was the case with St Edmundsbury’s Vision 2031 document.

The plans for Sawston include 200 homes on part of the Dales Manor Business Park, 80 homes between Dales Manor Business Park and Babraham Road, and 260 homes south of Babraham Road to the east of the village

The Abingtons requested three small sites with affordable housing, which will see 47 homes in Great Abington on Linton Road and the corner of High Street and Pampisford Road, and another six homes at Bancroft Farm, Church Lane, Little Abington.

Councillors also agreed to include Graveley Parish Council’s proposals for six homes on Toseland Road if the parish council confirms them later this month.

The 5,000 new homes proposed in the draft plan are in addition to 14,000 homes already committed to in locations mainly on the edge of Cambridge and at the new town of Northstowe.

During the public consultations over 37,000 comments were submitted.

The 7,400 comments made in the latest round of consultation last year will be considered by the independent planning inspector who will decide whether the plan is sound and deliverable.

Cllr Pippa Corney, SCDC cabinet member for planning policy and localism, said: “The consultations over the last two years have shown us that it is unrealistic to expect to prepare a plan that has complete consensus as we have received views on all sides of the debate.

“But this is a good plan which will mean that the new developments will have the services and facilities that they need as well as providing the best opportunity to provide high quality public transport links with Cambridge and the surrounding market towns.

“Although an independent inspector will have the final say on whether the plan is sound, we have tried to listen to what everyone has said before agreeing what we believe is best for the area as a whole.

“We have had to make some tough choices, but what is clear is that housing is much-needed to support jobs being created here, and to provide homes and a good quality of life for children growing up in the district.

“It is good that so many people have had their say as the consultation as the responses we received will be provided to the inspector as part of the Local Plan we submit to Government.

“This will give the inspector the opportunity to assess independently all the arguments put forward.”

In addition to a new town built north of Waterbeach, a new village at Bourn Airfield and a major extension to Cambourne, the plan also includes 900 homes built in six of the district’s larger villages which have the best services and public transport links:

Comberton – 90 homes opposite the Village College

Gamlingay – jobs and 90 homes at Green End Industrial Estate

Histon & Impington – new gateway to the villages through revitalisation around the busway stop and 25 homes in Impington Lane

Melbourn – 65 homes on land to rear of Victoria Way

Willingham – 50 homes on land east of Rockmill End

For all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, March 20) Echo.