Decision details

Designation of Sawston Neighbourhood Area

Decision Maker: Leader of Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


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


5.            The application from Sawston 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 has undertaken consultation with its community to determine whether to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, and has also consulted the neighbouring parishes. None of the neighbouring Parish Councils have any objections to Sawston Parish Council’s proposal. A Sawston neighbourhood plan working group was set up in February 2017 and included village residents and parish council representatives. All meetings have been publicised on The Parish Council website and noticeboards, articles have appeared in the village magazine and stands held at three village fetes during the summer 2017.


Consideration by South Cambridgeshire District Council


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


8.            SCDC considers that the application submitted by Sawston Parish Council is valid and therefore that the parish of Sawston 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.


Local Development Scheme


9.            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 Sawston Neighbourhood Area. In the interim, the complete list of Neighbourhood Areas designated is available to view on the Council’s website:, and Sawston 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 Planning Portfolio Holder approves the designation of a Neighbourhood Area for Sawston as proposed by the Parish Council.

Reasons for the decision:

South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) has received an application from Sawston Parish Council (PC) to designate the ‘Sawston 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: 18/06/2018

Date of decision: 18/06/2018

Effective from: 26/06/2018

Accompanying Documents: