Decision details

Designation of Fulbourn Neighbourhood Area

Decision Maker: Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


1.            The purpose of this decision is to agree on the proposed designation of the parish of Fulbourn as a Neighbourhood Area (NA). (See Appendix A – the application submitted by Fulbourn Parish Council (PC)).




2.            A Neighbourhood Area must be designated before a Parish Council can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. There are national regulations guiding how an application for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area should be considered.


3.            The regulations state that a local planning authority must designate a Neighbourhood Area if it receives a valid application and some or all of the area has not yet been designated. The regulations also state that a local planning authority must designate the whole of the area applied for in certain circumstances, and this includes if a Parish Council applies for the whole of their parish to be designated as a Neighbourhood Area.


4.            A valid neighbourhood area application is one where a ‘relevant body[1]’ has submitted an application to the local planning authority that must include:


·         a map which identifies the area to which the area application relates

·         a statement explaining why this area is considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area; and

·         a statement that the organisation or body making the area application is a relevant body for the purposes of section 61G of the 1990 Act


The application from Fulbourn Parish Council


5.            The application from Fulbourn Parish Council is for the whole of their parish to be designated as a neighbourhood area. None of this area has been previously designated for neighbourhood planning purposes and the application includes all the information required.


6.            The Parish Council held a widely advertised (by Parish website; notice boards and news letter delivered to whole parish) Public Meeting in March 2018. The meeting was attended by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Portfolio Holder and a Planning Policy Officer who explained the process and benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan. They also answered questions from the parishioners. A vote was taken at this meeting which favoured the making of a Neighbourhood Plan and this was endorsed by the PC at a subsequent PC meeting.


7.            The Fulbourn Forum which has a wide membership and the Trust responsible for operating the Fulbourn Centre will lead the initiative supported by the PC. Since  the meeting took place articles have appeared in the village magazine. There has been well publicized meetings and a planned display at a large village event which have all continued to keep the villagers informed.


Consideration by South Cambridgeshire District Council


8.            South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) is supportive of Fulbourn PC preparing a NP for its parish and keen for the two councils to work together in considering the future development of the area.


9.            SCDC considers that the application submitted by Fulbourn Parish Council is valid and therefore that the parish of Fulbourn should be designated as a neighbourhood area.As the whole of the parish has been proposed as a Neighbourhood Area, SCDC must designate the Neighbourhood Area.


Future neighbourhood area designations


10.          SCDC agreed a new decision making process at Cabinet on 26 July 2018.  This will mean that where a parish council is proposing the whole of its parish as a neighbourhood area the decision to designate such an area will now be  delegated to an officer. The Planning Portfolio Holder will be kept informed of all new designations.


Local Development Scheme


11.          The Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out the planning policy documents that SCDC intends to prepare for the next three years, and tends to be updated annually. The LDS (agreed in December 2016) includes a section that lists the Neighbourhood Areas designated in South Cambridgeshire and therefore the Neighbourhood Plans that are being prepared. When the LDS is next reviewed, this section of the LDS will be updated to include the Fulbourn Neighbourhood Area. In the interim, the complete list of Neighbourhood Areas designated is available to view on the Council’s website:, and Fulbourn Neighbourhood Area will be added to this list.

[1]  In South Cambridgeshire the relevant body this is a parish council


It is recommended that the designation of a Neighbourhood Area for Fulbourn as proposed by the Parish Council is approved.

Reasons for the decision:

South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) has received an application from Fulbourn Parish Council (PC) to designate the ‘Fulbourn Neighbourhood Area’.  The PC has applied to have the whole of its parish as a neighbourhood area. The regulations relating to such applications state that SCDC must designate all of the area applied for.

Alternative options considered:


Publication date: 13/08/2018

Date of decision: 13/08/2018

Accompanying Documents: