Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Local Planning Advisory Group - Tuesday, 24 November 2020 5.30 p.m.

Venue: Virtual meeting - Online. View directions


No. Item




Cllr Martin Smart gave an apology for absence with Cllr Dave Baigent substituting in his place.


Declarations of Interest


Cllr Nicholas Wright declared a non-pecuniary interest as a landowner (farmer) in the village of Connington within South Cambridgeshire.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 159 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 2 June 2020 were agreed as a correct record.


Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Strategic Options Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Additional documents:


Members were shown a presentation highlighting key themes and sections of the Local Plan.


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

  1. As the Combined Authority has the aspiration to double GVA (Gross Value Added) within the next 25 years, did officers factor this into the given growth figures?
  2. Members requested officers be careful on their use the word ‘consultant’ as this could provide the wrong impression to the public of the role such people fulfil, as it is officers who are the ones that guide the Local Plan process.
  3. The report made clear that water supply would be the single largest barrier to the delivery of higher growth options. Would the Councils be able to get sufficient information about what may or may not be possible with regards to water supply, or will there have to be a risk-based judgement of the options, based on what other agencies may do?
  4. Had the Councils considered building a reservoir to supply South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City?
  5. Was there a chance that meaningful new census data will inform the Local Plan process before being submitted?
  6. The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service (GCSPS) had used the minimum level of growth for the standard methodology, it was queried if the use of the term ‘minimum’, meant that there were no constraints to delivering the standard methodology of houses during the period?
  7. Was there any justification in national planning policy or guidance for not examining higher levels of growth than the standard methodology?
  8. Why were the Councils equating an increase in GVA with jobs growth and not reviewing productivity growth instead?
  9. Members highlighted concerns at the modelling differences regarding housing between what was in the SPEAR report and those done by G.L. Hearn on behalf of the planning service.
  10. Due to the significant impact of Covid-19 on supply chains globally and regionally and in conjunction with the significant changes to the way people operated, particularly with an increase an online shopping, could policy making be more flexible to take account of this?




In response officers of the Grater Cambridge Planning Service said the following:

  1. SCDC growth figures were based on what researchers had identified as being realistic to deliver, officers were of course aware of the Combined Authority’s aspiration but did not base their growth figures on this. It was also noted however, that job sectors in which the Greater Cambridge area was strong provided greater productivity per job, such as the life sciences.
  2. The vast majority of the work published for the Local Plan was carried out by expert consultants in their field and their names were published on the relevant documentation. This was however, done in a research capacity and their work is only used to inform the decisions that the officers make. Officer had not taken a view on the relevant work at the time of the meeting and it had just been provided to the Committee in an informative capacity. Officers will reach a judgement on this information at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.