Planning Applications and Local Plans

Local Planning Applications

There is a Planning Sub-Committee in the Parish Council. It normally meets 30 minutes before the main PC Meeting in the Village Hall but these days it is online using Zoom.

It may also  meet on ad-hoc occasions to address an urgent planning matter.

A list of planning applications being considered by the Parish Council is normally on the Village Noticeboard in South Street in the Planning Committee Agenda

Visit the Parish Council website to see the latest minutes and agenda for the Planning Committee here

To comment on any of these please mail the Planning Chair Planning Chair
( @ ) as well as South Cambs District Council (SCDC).

For the latest information on applications and decisions in the last 12 months:  click here to go to the Greater Cambridge Partnership planning website to search for Applications

Joint Local Plan for South Cambs and Cambridge City

The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service (GCSPS) is in the process of developing a new joint Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils. This will set out the planning policies needed to create great places to live, work, play and study during the next 20 years and beyond. When eventually completed in the years ahead, after extensive consultation with residents, it will outline where new homes and jobs will come forward. 

 One of the first steps in creating a Local Plan is to ask people to put forward land they could make available for development if needed. This is called a ‘call for sites’ and took place in 2019-20 with over 650 sites put forward – far more than we could possibly need. sites will be subjected to stringent tests including assessment of impacts on the local landscape and townscape, neighbouring properties, water supply, transport and roads. Sites also need to be compatible with the spatial strategy for the Local Plan, which is being developed in response to strong support in the First Conversation consultation last year for the ‘big themes’ of climate change, the natural environment, wellbeing and maintaining high quality places. 

 The sites that GCSPS feel are most suitable and sustainable will be put forward for public consultation as part of the Preferred Option stage of the Plan, in summer/autumn 2021. All parishes, and all members of the community, will be able to tell them your views on the proposed spatial strategy and site selection at that point in time. 

New town proposals to be considered alongside 650 other suggested locations for new homes and jobs

SCDC councillors have reassured residents that proposals published by developers for a 25,000-home town in South Cambridgeshire have absolutely no planning status, and  it is far too early to say whether the location is suitable for any development. The proposals published by Thakeham at, for a new town with a series of connected new villages on land around Barrington, Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth, Foxton,  Melbourn, Meldreth, Orwell, Shepreth, Whaddon and Wimpole will be assessed in the same way as over 650 other sites that have been put forward for the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan. Only sites that meet a high bar set for environmental standards and other tests, and which align with the vision that the Councils are currently developing, will move forward to be consulted on during the second half of next year.

Sites that are submitted after the Call for Sites has closed are assessed after the initial sites have been processed. Thakeham have indicated they will be submitting a site and their proposal will go through exactly the same process of stringent testing. During the creation of South Cambridgeshire’s last Local Plan, around 400 sites were put forward and approximately 10 percent were actually chosen to be developed

East West Rail proposals … a dedicated page  on how this may affect Comberton is available just click here

Local Plan 2013 (SCDC) – for the record…..

SCDC revised their Local Plan using a Long Term Development Framework (LDF) for 2016 onwards. This raised a number of potential sites proposed for development of which 9 were within our Village boundary.

The Parish Council set up a working party (including non councillors) to address the important issues these developments would have if these were considered viable by SCDC.

The Parish Council brought together arguments concerning these sites (and those adjacent to Comberton) and their potential impact on the life of Comberton for presentation to SCDC following an endorsement at a public meeting in Comberton in September 2012.

In addition Cambs County Council revised their Transport Strategy.

Update Sept 2013 – The nine original sites were condensed down to four sites for Comberton and were consulted at the end of 2012, again resisted by CPC but these are NOT in the new plan – in line with Parish views.

Furthermore Comberton is reclassified as a Minor Rural Centre in the new Plan, which means that the restriction on houses per development within the village framework rises from 8 to 30.

However a new proposal for 90 houses at Bennell Farm, plus a football pitch and changing facilities for the village of TOFT and an additional car park for CVC is now in the SCDC Local Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and was included in the latest  adopted South Cambridgeshire Local Plan. This plan was submitted to the Secretary of State at the end of March 2014. It was examined  in a Public Examination by independent planning inspector.

To see the current progress on this Local Development Scheme  examination please click here; the overall Scheme is  here.

The independent Inspectors appointed to examine the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans have written their Final Reports, published on Monday 3 September 2018.

The Inspectors’ Reports conclude that the Cambridge Local Plan and the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan (see below) are sound and provide an appropriate basis for the planning of the area, provided that a number of main modifications are made, which are detailed in their reports. None of these directly affect Comberton.

It means that the Bennell Farm development can only proceed subject to agreements on the ‘Section 106’ disbursements. The Parish Council has negotiated these with SCDC.

Report on the examination of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2014 [PDF, 443KB]

An extract of the Inspectors comments relating to Bennell Farm Development for info.

10.3.The allocation within the Green Belt at Comberton (H/1:h) is an open field on
the edge of Comberton which is designated as a Minor Rural Centre. The site is
designated for development with an indicative capacity of 90 dwellings to
include affordable housing provision to help meet the needs of the villages of
Comberton and Toft. There is no evidence before us that sites outside the
Green Belt are available in a suitable location to meet these locally identified
needs. The policy also requires the provision of community facilities including
a football pitch and changing facilities for Toft and community car parking
which would also be available as overspill parking for Comberton Village
104.Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and in
this case development of the site would reduce the separation between
Comberton and Toft, although it would not extend built development further
west than the existing built development to the north of the site. The site is
surrounded by mature hedgerows and trees which would help to limit the
impact of development. Considered in the round we consider that the impact
of the proposed development would have a moderate impact on the Green Belt
that would be outweighed by the benefits of the provision of new housing and
in particular affordable housing to meet local needs as well the provision of
other community benefits, thereby constituting the exceptional circumstances
necessary to justify an alteration to the boundary of the Green Belt. The site
received outline planning permission during the course of the examination.

The South Cambs Local Plan 2018 was due to be formally adopted on 27th September at a Council meeting. They approved the Local Plan:-

A plan to deliver 22,000 jobs and 19,500 new homes by 2031 in South Cambridgeshire has thus been given final approval.

The plan was approved by councillors at a South Cambridgeshire District Council Full Council meeting on Thursday 27 September after Government inspectors who were independently reviewing the plan, reported that they had found it sound.

Adoption of the Local Plan in South Cambridgeshire today means the Council will now use the plan as the cornerstone in all planning decisions made for the area.

The Plan also contains the key housing sites the Council will be expecting to see developed over the coming years. Only a proportion of the homes (listed below) at the larger sites would be built by 2031:

A new town north of Waterbeach – approximately 8,000-9,000 homes
A new village at Bourn Airfield – approximately 3,500 homes
An expansion to Cambourne to the west – planning permission has already been granted for 2,350 homes
Homes on land north of Cherry Hinton and west of Teversham – 1,200 homes (420 in South Cambridgeshire. The remaining homes are in Cambridge City)
Around 900 homes in the better served South Cambridgeshire villages
Continue to develop Northstowe – around 10,000 homes
Continue to build homes in existing growth sites on the edge of Cambridge (Southern Fringe, Cambridge East, Darwin Green and Eddington)

The plans also allow for the extension of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Peterhouse Technology Park on Fulbourn Road.

  • It includes the Bennell Farm development in Comberton and a new village at Bourn Airfield – approximately 3,500 homes is earmarked for development.
  • Proposals to build 3,500 new homes on this 270-hectare site  – originally a Second World War airfield – have already gone on public display. They include a mixture of housing, two primary schools, a secondary school, shops and sports and leisure facilities.

The Council submitted the Local Plan in March 2014 for independent examination and Government Inspectors took over four years to assess it.

South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council committed to an early review of the Local Plans as part of the City Deal agreement. This was also a recommendation of the Planning Inspector. The review will commence in 2019 with submission for examination in 2022 (as noted earlier)