Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Local Planning Advisory Group - Tuesday, 2 June 2020 5.30 p.m.

Venue: Virtual meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Aaron Clarke  03450 450 500 Email:


No. Item


Election of Chair and Vice Chair


Councillor Aidan Van de Weyer proposed, and Councillor Katie Thornburrow seconded, the nomination of Councillor Tumi Hawkins as Chair.

It was agreed unanimously that Councillor Hawkins be Chair for the ensuing year.


Councillor Tim Bick proposed, and Councillor Tumi Hawkins seconded, the nomination of Councillor Katie Thornburrow as Vice-Chair.

It was agreed unanimously that Councillor Thornburrow be Vice-Chair for the ensuing year.





No apologies were received for this meeting.


It was noted that Councillor Nick Wright had replaced Councillor Tom Bygott as the conservative representative from South Cambridgeshire District Council.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 297 KB

To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 01 October 2019 as a correct record.


The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 2 June 2020 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendment:

·        In minute 5, page 3, the wording in the second line to read “…resulting from consultation responses suggesting that new settlements were the preferred choice rather than expansion of existing villages”.


North East Cambridge Area Action Plan pdf icon PDF 259 KB

Additional documents:


Members were shown a presentation which highlighted the strategic objectives, key proposals and section of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan (NECAAP). Officers intended on bringing back a paper to members on the representations received through the summer NECAAP consultation.


Following the presentation on NECAAP, Chair Tumi Hawkins issued a thank you to everyone who had been involved in drafting the NECAAP & all the supplementary documents. All members of the JLPAG seconded this.


In response to the presentation on the NAACP, Members had the following comments:

       I.          The Chair questioned why there wasn’t already a plan to implement a secondary school, instead protecting the land in case it was needed.

     II.          It was questioned if the NECAAP planning was occurring too early, as it was going to be a 7-year period until the work could commence.

    III.          It was commented that the integration of public transport would be fantastic, never had there been a site like this before with such a variety of transport links.

   IV.          Enquired if there may be less need for office space in a post COVID-19 world.

     V.          It was noted that employers were to be assigned blocks of employee designated housing under the AAP and commented that this would go against the Cambridge Local Plan policy 45.

   VI.          That there was some clarification needed on HMOs (homes of multiple occupancy), it was remarked that the AAP discusses HMOs developing over time but simultaneously that the build to rent housing would all be HMOs, which was a contradiction.

 VII.          Noted that there was not much information for the public in the report on density, and that there was concern about flexibility on the height of buildings for developers. The report stated 5 to 6 floors, but with a potential for 8, it was questioned how they would stop developers always taking the maximum of 8. 

VIII.          The chair questioned how they would build and manage HMOs, as well as querying how they would consider Article 4.


In response, officers from the Greater Cambridge Planning Service said the following:

       I.          Advice from officers at the County Council had stated that a secondary school was likely not to be needed.

     II.          As the NECAAP requires the re-siting of the waste water works, which would require its own consultation and planning period, preparing now allows the planning service to engage with the wider community and ensure the process is not developer led.

    III.          Officers noted that the planning service was communicating on how to provide an integrated public transport system across the whole of Cambridgeshire.

   IV.          It was remarked that the policies would be kept under review as the situation may change rapidly. A section would added at the beginning of NECAAP to state that all policies would be kept under review due to the impact of COVID-19.

     V.          It was commented that employers had been assigned blocks of housing due to the desire to drive down car use. It was noted however, that the plan is in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Issues & Options Feedback pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Additional documents:


Officers displayed a presentation for Members highlighting proposed changes to the programme that would add further stakeholder consultation to take place in Autumn 2020 with preferred options for the next stage of public consultation to take place in summer 2021.


Members made the following comments after a presentation on the Local Plan Issues and Options Feedback:

       I.          Queried if there would be any external valuation of the reach of the Local Plan consultation ensure that any mistakes can be learned from for future consultations.

     II.          Questioned if having two options for the Local Plan timeline in the LDS (Local Development Scheme) was lawful or if it may be challengeable by a third party.

    III.          Asked if officers knew what stage the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s non-spatial framework had gotten to.

   IV.          Asked what the impact would be of the East/West rail and Cam metro projects on the Local Plan and the NECAAP, and if conversations had been had with national rail and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with regards to the implications of these plans.

     V.          Queried if having two plans for the timelines could cause an excess of homes and jobs if the NECAAP were to come through after the Local Plan.

   VI.          Remarked on the need to flesh out the consequences of environmental measures on economic viability in further stages of consultation.

 VII.          Queried if proceeding with two timeline options would double the work for officers and remarked that the sooner the joint local plan was submitted and weight given to it, the better, so as to move away from the flaws of previous Local Plans.

VIII.          It was queried if it was possible to include the AAP as part of the local plan, so there would be one document and one timetable.


In response, officers from the Greater Cambridge Planning Service said the following:

       I.          There would be no independent evaluation of the consultation process due to resource concerns, but a lot of work was being done internally. It was noted that the public had been asked to voluntarily feedback and that these would be shared with members in due course.

     II.          Remarked that it was unusual to have two potential timelines but commented that it wasn’t a clear decision to take one option right now and therefore more sensible to leave their options open. A legal view was obtained, that this was a reasonable approach.

    III.          Officers had not received any recent updates from the Combined Authority on its Non-Statutory Spatial Framework.

   IV.          Officers were engaging with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on the Cam Metro. It was remarked that although it was early days for the East/West rail project officers were in communication with national rail; and that this would need to be monitored as the plan was developed, to correspond to the weight it could be given in informing the local plan as it develops.

     V.          Officers commented that they would have to consider the potential implications in determining the right approach  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:


The discussion for this item was dealt with under the previous substantive item.


Under the previous substantive item, Members of the Joint Local Plan Advisory Group agreed by affirmation to:

a)     Recommend to the respective Council’s decision-making processes that they should:

i.                 Adopt the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix 1 of this report.

ii.                Grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces (and also the Chair and Spokes for the Planning Policy and Transport Scrutiny Committee), to make any minor editing changes and corrections identified prior to publication.


Members of the Group noted that the next meeting was likely to take place in October and that more information would be released when it was available.