The start of a six week consultation to help create “the most important document most people have never heard of” will launch in January after a consultation was signed off last week.
Debate on homes, jobs and the environment in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire to begin in January
The ‘first conversation’ will launch on 13 January after councillors agreed it was better to run the consultation after the Christmas and New Year festive season to make sure as many people as possible talk to the councils about their views.
The new joint Local Plan for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire will ask questions about climate change, nature, wellbeing and equality to help inform important decisions on where new homes will be built, jobs located and the facilities and services that will be needed.
It is expected to take around four years to create the next Local Plan and the consultation in January is the first step to help local people get involved the whole way through.
The date for the Issues and Options consultation was agreed after councillors at both councils debated the report at meetings this week.
The two councils’ current Local Plans, which were given final approval in 2018, set out how the two areas will be developed up until 2031, with 33,500 new homes to be built and 44,000 new jobs to be created.
Some of the key themes already emerging for the new joint Local Plan, to 2040 and beyond, include:
- Responding to climate change
- Increasing biodiversity and green spaces
- Promoting wellbeing and equality
- Delivering quality places
These themes help to shape the heart of the Local Plan – decisions about future jobs and employment, homes and infrastructure – including transport links, schools, health and utilities.
A new website is being created to help people get involved more easily. This will also mean people can comment on the issues that they are more concerned about.
Stephen Kelly, Joint Director of Planning for the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service, said: “The forthcoming consultation is the start of the conversation and we will be doing all we can to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get involved. We know that some groups are not as well represented as others so we will also be trying to reach out to get them involved. The Local Plan is a really important document which touches everyone’s lives as it sets out how Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire will change over the coming decades.”
South Cambridgeshire is the second largest district in Cambridgeshire.