Agenda item

South Cambridgeshire Local Plan Update

Appendices A, D and F are attached to both the paper and electronic version of the agenda. Appendices B, C, E, G, H and I are attached to the electronic version only (Appendix B will be uploaded as soon as possible after publication of the agenda). The electronic version of the agenda can be viewed by visiting www.scambs.gov.uk and following the links from ‘The Council’.

Decision:

The Planning Portfolio Holder agreed the following recommendations to Full Council on 17 November 2016:

 

a)               To agree that the Proposed Modifications (Appendix A), including:

 

                                                                             i.                    That the proposal to prepare Area Action Plans for Waterbeach New Town and Bourn Airfield New Village, is replaced by a proposal to produce Supplementary Planning Documents, that the village separation policy wording at sub-section 3 and paragraph 3.37 be refined in the case of Waterbeach, and that necessary and consequential modifications are made to the Local Plan policies,

 

                                                                            ii.                    That changes are proposed to the Bourn Airfield new village Major Development Site boundary in respect of parcels 1, 2, and 5 only as shown on the map attached to Appendix A to the report from the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development: that parcel 3 be rejected, and that parcel 4 br considered subject to additional wording relating to boundary treatment (such wording to be drafted prior to the meeting of Full Council on 17 November 2016; and

 

                                                                           iii.                    That land south of Cambridge Biomedical Campus as shown on the map attached to Appendix A is allocated as an extension to the employment site allocated in the submitted Cambridge Local Plan;

 

and the Sustainability Appraisal Screening (Appendix B), subject to any recommended changes by the Portfolio Holder, be submitted to the Inspectors examining the Local Plan;

 

b)               That delegated authority be given to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development to propose Modifications in respect to Travelling Showpeople to the examination consistent with the approach set out in paragraphs 51 to 53 of this report, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder. Any material changes to be brought back to Members for consideration;

 

c)               To agree that the documents attached to this  report as Appendices C to I are noted and submitted as part of the evidence base for the submitted Local Plan;

 

d)               To note that if recommendation (a)(i) is agreed, a report will be brought to the Planning Portfolio Holder meeting on 13 December 2016 to revise the Local Development Scheme to delete the AAPs and to also consider the most appropriate way to prepare the proposed SPDs;

 

e)               To agree that delegated authority be given to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development to make any subsequent minor amendments and editing changes, in consultation with the Planning Portfolio Holder.

Minutes:

The Planning Portfolio Holder considered a report relating to several further Proposed Modifications to the submitted Local Plan currently at independent examination. These Modifications were in response to new Government Guidance, legal advice, and new evidence and issues arising from the Examination.

 

The Planning Policy Manager summarised the report with the help of a PowerPoint presentation. She highlighted the following points:

 

         Further planning guidance for new settlements – Waterbeach New Town, the new village at Bourn Airfield new allocation for employment land south of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus

        Further planning guidance for provision for Gypsies and Travellers, and Travelling Showpeople

        Greater Cambridge City Deal – monitoring the 1,000 additional rural exception site homes

        Issues arising from SCDC's  statements for the Successful Communities and High Quality Housing examination hearings

 

Informing those present that South Cambridgeshire District Council’s (SCDC)specific examination Hearings were underway, the Planning Policy Manager reminded Members that the Climate Change hearing had already taken place. Hearings into the Successful Communities policies would start on 9 November 2016, and Hearings into Housing policies and village housing allocations would start on 29 November 2016. January and February 2017 would consider plan policies for Design Quality, the Natural and Historic Environment, and the Economy. Other hearings next year had yet to be programmed and would include the new settlements.

 

Following several Court cases on the issue elsewhere in the country, the Council had received legal advice that adding detail to its new settlement policies should be done through Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) rather than Area Action Plans. The Planning Policy Manager explained that, while SPD’s could not allocate land for development or for significant change, they could address environmental, social, design and economic objectives  relevant to the attainment of the development and use of land allocated for development in the Local Plan.

 

The Planning Portfolio Holder invited comments in relation to the proposed new town north of Waterbeach, and proposed new village at Bourn Airfield.

 

In relation to Waterbeach, Councillor Ingrid Tregoing (a local Member) said that residents had expressed concern about the use of the word ‘approximately’ in stating the likely number of dwellings to be built. The anticipated green separation between the existing village and proposed new town to the north had already been lost and this meant that separation should not be referred to in the policy. She suggested that “…a maximum of… would be preferable to “…approximately 8,000 to 9,000 homes…’ as being more transparent. The Planning Policy Manager said that, as yet, there was insufficient evidence to determine the number of dwellings and that ‘approximately’ was more appropriate and consistent with the approach at Bourn Airfield. Following further discussion, including discussion about the new town’s potential impact on Denny Abbey, the Portfolio Holder read out comments from Councillor Peter Johnson (the other local Member), who had been unable to attend the meeting. Councillor Johnson’s concerns related to plans to consider moving the boundary of Waterbeach new settlement further northwards. He indicated that this could jeopardise the setting of Denny Abbey. Councillor Johnson was also concerned that bringing forward the development of Waterbeach New Town could have an impact on Northstowe, given current constraints on the construction industry. The Planning Policy Manager said that discussions with Historic England about the northern boundary were ongoing and that no change to the boundary was proposed in the report. A further report to Members would be brought forward as necessary if discussions indicated that a boundary change could take place while providing an appropriate settingr Denny Abbey.

 

In relation to the proposed new village on Bourn Airfield, those present discussed the relationship between the Local Plan and proposals by the Greater Cambridge City Deal for a segregated busway through the site. Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins (local Member for Caldecote) prompted discussion about the potential adverse impact on Caldecote should the boundary of the Major Development Site for the new village be moved closer. The areas of particular concern were parcels 3 and 4. Discussion considered whether the impact in relation to parcel 4 could be reduced by widening the area of strategic landscaping.

 

The Planning Portfolio Holder then proceeded with the remainder of the report.

 

In relation to the proposed modification to allocate employment land to the south of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Members noted the South Cambridgeshire District Council’s 2015 Green Belt study had found that the site could be developed without significant harm to Green Belt purposes. There remained some local concern about impacts, including on Green Belt and Nine Wells Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and on farmland birds.There was now evidence that the site could be developed without significant impacts regarding flood risk, groundwater hydrology, biodiversity, access and trees. Indeed, scope existed for development to lead to greater tree cover and an increase in biodiversity and the site would provide additional land at the successful Biomedical Campus if it was needed during the plan period.

 

In relation to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment, the emerging Local Plan updated the Council’s assessment carried out in 2011. Reflecting the new Government definition (August 2015), the Assessment concluded that identified need could be met from existing sites except in relation to Travelling Showpeople where a need for 11 plots had arisen since plan submission. Such need was wider than simply South Cambridgeshire and, therefore, might be provided elsewhere so long as there was easy access to the major road network. Councillor Lynda Harford (Housing Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation) supported the Council’s position on the issue, but regretted the changes to the national definition.

 

Those present noted that the Greater Cambridge City Deal Executive Board had agreed how the 1,000 additional rural homes should be monitored.Proposed modifications would be included in the Local Plan.

 

In responding to Inspectors’ questions for the forthcoming South Cambridgeshire District Council hearings for Housing and Successful Communities several policy modifications had been proposed in relation to policies for:

 

·        Housing Mix (Policy H/8)

·        Rural Exception Site Affordable Homes (Policy H/10)

·        Residential Space Standards (Policy H/11)

·        Allocation for Open Space (Policy SC/1) and

·        Hospice provision (Policy SC/5)

 

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Screening had been carried out on all the proposed plan modifications and no significant changes to the existing SA had been identified

 

The Planning Portfolio Holder agreed the following recommendations to Full Council on 17 November 2016:

 

a)               To agree that the Proposed Modifications (Appendix A), including:

 

                                                                             i.                    That the proposal to prepare Area Action Plans for Waterbeach New Town and Bourn Airfield New Village, is replaced by a proposal to produce Supplementary Planning Documents, that the village separation policy wording at sub-section 3 and paragraph 3.37 be refined in the case of Waterbeach, and that necessary and consequential modifications are made to the Local Plan policies,

 

                                                                            ii.                    That changes are proposed to the Bourn Airfield new village Major Development Site boundary in respect of parcels 1, 2, and 5 only as shown on the map attached to Appendix A to the report from the Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development: that parcel 3 be rejected, and that parcel 4 br considered subject to additional wording relating to boundary treatment (such wording to be drafted prior to the meeting of Full Council on 17 November 2016; and

 

                                                                           iii.                    That land south of Cambridge Biomedical Campus as shown on the map attached to Appendix A is allocated as an extension to the employment site allocated in the submitted Cambridge Local Plan;

 

and the Sustainability Appraisal Screening (Appendix B), subject to any recommended changes by the Portfolio Holder, be submitted to the Inspectors examining the Local Plan;

 

b)               That delegated authority be given to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development to propose Modifications in respect to Travelling Showpeople to the examination consistent with the approach set out in paragraphs 51 to 53 of this report, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder. Any material changes to be brought back to Members for consideration;

 

c)               To agree that the documents attached to this  report as Appendices C to I are noted and submitted as part of the evidence base for the submitted Local Plan;

 

d)               To note that if recommendation (a)(i) is agreed, a report will be brought to the Planning Portfolio Holder meeting on 13 December 2016 to revise the Local Development Scheme to delete the AAPs and to also consider the most appropriate way to prepare the proposed SPDs;

 

e)               To agree that delegated authority be given to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development to make any subsequent minor amendments and editing changes, in consultation with the Planning Portfolio Holder.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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