How to have your say on the latest Cambridge Local Plan changes

This may be of interest to you if you’re of strong constitution when it comes to reading administrative documentation, and are concerned about subjects including the Wort’s Causeway development, cycle parking, on-street deliveries, tall buildings, parking stress, traveller sites, student accommodation, access to the railway station, and more.

Still with me? Right, here we go.

National planning policy places Local Plans at the heart of the planning system. The plans set planning policies in a local authority area and are vital when deciding planning applications. Work began in 2011 on the most recent Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans, scheduled to take us through to 2031. These were submitted by the councils to the government in 2014. It was hoped that they would be adopted by Winter 2014/15.

Three years later, excruciatingly, the government inspectors’ reports and further consultations all continue. The plans still have not been adopted.

Because of the delays caused by the inspectors’ many issues with the plans, some of the foundations on which they were based have changed. This introduces even more problems. Inevitably, the whole thing is keeping a lot of administrators very busy but not achieving much for the rest of us. But we are where we are, and the government inspectors have now asked for a consultation on the “Main Modifications” which they are recommending.

If you’re interested in what’s being proposed, prepare yourself for the usual bureaucratic adventure. As you’ve got this far, I’d skip to the chorus and have a quick peek here. Anything seem interesting? OK, read on.

Otherwise, just cross your fingers and hope it all works out for the best.

Still with me? Right, you can find the council documentation on the “Main Modifications” here:

Be very careful. The only thing you can comment on are the two links in the “Current Documents Open to Public Consultation” panel, not the stuff below it, which is history. Click on “Local Plan Main Modifications – January 2018” and you’ll be taken to an awkward multi-page document, but start with “1. Introduction” and there’s a “Next Chapter” link at the bottom of each page. I’d ignore the South Cambs link, as the introductions there are the same, but then it just sends you to the Cambridge City version, which immediately throws you out if you’re not registered.

Sadly, although the central government “GOV.UK” websites are usually a joy to use, local government sites using the same suffix are invariably awful, and this is no exception.

If you find something which relates to an area you’re interested in, and want to comment, you’ll then need to refer back to the original local plan documents (you knew this was going to be tedious, didn’t you?). These can be found at:

(Here’s the actual submitted plan)

Sign into the system, and use the little “comment” icons to have your say on a particular item. Alternatively, there’s a form you can download here and fill in by hand.

Best of luck. Sam Davies, chair of the Queen Edith’s Community Forum, appears to be one of the people who’s had the patience to take a very quick look, and here are some of her tweets on the subject:

5 Replies to “How to have your say on the latest Cambridge Local Plan changes”

  1. Thank you for the plug Chris. I should point out that those are comments on the City Council modifications *only*. I haven’t got round to trying to digest the South Cambs documents yet …

  2. Great service, Chris, for breaking down the process into understandable chunks. And great work too from Sam, giving us a preview of the ?best bits?

  3. I’ve got a Draft Local Plan from 2014. Is this the one we need to refer to if we comment, Chris?

    Many thanks to Sam, by the way. I wonder if a session thrashing it all out might not be useful? (Not in QE but interested in wrestling with this.)

  4. I did check this with a planning officer (just in case) and for clarity, this isn’t necessary for the whole thing. I’d misunderstood Chris. You don’t need to keep referring back to the document Chris links to for *any comment*, in other words.

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