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Cambridge plans win inspectors’ seal of approval

Words: Huw Morris

Two local plans covering the Greater Cambridge area have finally been approved by planning inspectors.

The plans by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council propose 33,500 homes and 44,000 jobs by 2031. Both councils submitted their plans in March 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate has now found both plans sound.

The plans would see a new town of up to 9,000 homes north of Waterbeach, with a new village of 3,500 homes at Bourn Airfield.

Cambourne will see a major expansion while around 900 homes will be built in South Cambridgeshire villages.

Northstowe will be developed with around 10,000 homes and the plans envisage major extensions to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and Peterhouse Technology Park.

Both local authorities are committed to review the plans in 2019 with submission for examination in 2022.

“The local plan process has been complex and unusually lengthy, but we have now reached an important milestone as the inspectors have provided their final report and found the plan sound,“ said Kevin Blencowe, Cambridge City Council’s executive member for planning policy and transport.

“The plan is also about more than just housing and we have responded to local issues by putting forward key policies that have been endorsed by the inspectors.

“These include appropriate provision of accommodation for students and visitors, continued protection and provision of new open spaces and community facilities, and protection of public houses. These are all policies that continue to protect and enhance the quality of life and place in this historic city,” he added.

South Cambridgeshire’s deputy leader Aidan Van de Weyer said the inspectors’ decision “gives our communities the certainty over how we can deliver well planned and managed growth”.

But he added: “However, we are really disappointed it has taken so long for the government inspectors to complete their review as we understand this was one of the longest examinations in the country. This is simply too long by the inspectors and has meant the wrong type of development, in the wrong locations, has been approved in many of our villages.”

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