Published: Thursday, 12th November 2015
Planning authorities in and around Cambridge, one of the fastest-growing areas of England, have increased their local plans’ housing target by 500 homes.
This is the result of extra work commissioned by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils after planning inspectors suspended the examination of their strategies.
The inspectors questioned if more than the 33,000 homes put forward in the two Cambridgeshire council’s draft local plans were needed to meet local needs, and whether the strategy of focusing the majority of homes in new settlements and villages was sound.
Reports published this week (9 November) from independent experts have said that 33,500 homes would be needed by 2031 to meet local needs, just 500 more than originally put forward.
The reports also stated that the extra work commissioned has confirmed the two councils’ strategy to deliver growth through new towns and villages and protecting the green belt from significant releases was the right plan for the Greater Cambridge area.
Since the draft local plans were submitted, promoters of the new town north of Waterbeach and new village at Bourn Airfield have stated the developments could begin earlier. The reports recommend this approach.
To meet requirement for the additional homes needed by 2031, more land than currently earmarked for housing near Cambridge Airport is now proposed for development. The proposals could see 1,200 homes built north of Cherry Hinton and toward Teversham.
The two councils are planning consultation on these latest proposals starting next month (December) before submitting modification to the draft plans for consideration by the inspectors who are expected to resume examination of the strategies around Easter 2016.