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Annual report shows Greater Cambridge built 1,752 houses and ring-fenced £3.2million for community and infrastructure projects during 2020-2021

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning – a shared service between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District councils – has set out the progress that has been made during the past year on building sustainable and affordable new homes.  

The service has published its Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) for 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, which shows progress made against the requirements in the Councils’ current adopted Local Plans 2018. 

The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning AMR was yesterday (7 February) discussed by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet, following discussion on 11 January by Cambridge City Council’s Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee.  

The document looks at the progress of the two councils’ Local Plans, plus the four adopted Area Action Plans for Northstowe, Cambridge East, Cambridge Southern Fringe, and North West Cambridge.  

Report highlights 

  • 1,752 ‘net additional’ houses were built during the period (the number of new homes built minus the number of existing homes that have been demolished); 1,335 in South Cambridgeshire, and 417 in Cambridge  
  • 362 of these homes were ‘Affordable Homes’; 311 in South Cambridgeshire, and 51 in Cambridge (Cambridge is lower due to a significant number of demolished homes that will be replaced in future years) 
  • The Planning Service was able to secure £3.2million of investment tied to new development that will be spent on future community or infrastructure projects 
  • And £3.5million that had previously been secured by the Service was received during the year, as existing agreements were delivered. 

Projects delivered out of funding received last year 

  • A new multi-purpose pavilion on the site of Cambridge City Football Club in Sawston 
  • A sports pavilion at Hauxton 
  • Improvements to Chesterton Recreation Ground pavilion, which has almost doubled its size 
  • The transfer of land for a new recreation ground in Orwell 
  • A strategic green buffer zone in Melbourn, which creates a sensitive green edge to the village and provides open space with pathways and seating 
  • Contributions towards the River Great Ouse improvement project at Over and improvements to Fowlmere Round Moat 
  • A new village hall in Cottenham, which opened in spring 2021 
  • Contributions to the community facilities at Babraham and Swavesey 
  • Funding towards the new Sawston Library which forms part of a community hub and will house a relocated Children’s Centre. 

South Cambridgeshire’s Lead Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and Delivery, Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins said: “A considerable amount of carefully considered, well-planned development has been completed in Greater Cambridge during the year, despite the impact of Coronavirus and social distancing requirements on all those working within the construction and housing sectors. 

“This means the councils are playing their part in building new homes to help address the housing shortage in the area. We are also proud that our policies to support climate change are having a positive impact, with homes featuring water efficiency and carbon reduction measures. New homes have also brought tangible benefits to local communities, with contributions made by developers towards play areas and other community facilities, as well as towards infrastructure such as school extensions and new cycleways.” 

Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, Cllr Katie Thornburrow of Cambridge City Council said: “We have changed the format of this year’s report to provide clearer information about how we are fulfilling our commitment to tackle the housing shortage and provide more affordable homes for those most in need.  

“It is gratifying to see that thanks to our policies these new developments bring substantial benefits to both existing and new residents in the form of affordable housing, open areas and play spaces, sporting and community facilities, walkways and cycle paths, and education and healthcare facilities, all of which contribute to improvements in quality of life for our residents.”