Fulbourn’s special qualities further protected
A new Neighbourhood Plan for the village of Fulbourn has been formally adopted by South Cambridgeshire District Council, and will help shape future development and protect the local environment.
The plan was created by members of the community in the village, with support from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning. It is the eighth Neighbourhood Plan to be adopted in South Cambridgeshire.
A referendum was held in February to ask residents if they wanted the Fulbourn Neighbourhood Plan to be considered when planning applications in the local area are decided. Almost 92% of those who voted were in favour of this.
Last week (Thursday 30 March 2023) the Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted or ‘made’ at a full District Council meeting.
It means it is now an important consideration in determining planning applications in the neighbourhood area. Through several targeted policies specific to Fulbourn, the Neighbourhood Plan aims to:
- maintain and improve the character and distinctiveness of Fulbourn
- consolidate and extend existing green and natural links
- enhance the rural environment surrounding the village
- deliver an appropriate housing mix, affordable housing, and homes that are built to high environmental standards
- protect and improve amenities and community facilities
- promote walking, cycling and horse-riding
The Chair of Fulbourn Parish Council, Cllr Mary Drage, is on the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, and said: “I am delighted that the Fulbourn Neighbourhood Plan has now been 'made' and wish to thank all those people who have worked so hard over the last five years to produce it. We now look forward to putting the actions and aims identified in the making of the Plan into practice.”
There are three South Cambridgeshire District Councillors who represent Fulbourn: Cllr Graham Cone, Cllr Carla Hofman and Cllr John Williams.
Cllr Cone commented: “I am really pleased to see that the Fulbourn Neighbourhood Plan has been endorsed by residents at the recent referendum. This Neighbourhood Plan has involved a huge amount of work from resident groups, the Parish Council and local District and County Councillors working together to put forward a plan that best represents what residents want for Fulbourn going forward. It is my view that this Neighbourhood Plan will protect the character of Fulbourn for many years to come. It has been really nice to see residents from all different backgrounds and community groups come together to contribute to the Neighbourhood Plan.”
Cllr Hofman added: “A Neighbourhood Plan is a special document because it is created by a group of people who are passionate about their community. It reflects a place that they know and love. Putting a Neighbourhood Plan together shows how much this community wants to protect what it has – whilst appreciating how the area needs to change to meet the needs of our children and grandchildren.”
Cllr Williams said: “I am grateful to the Fulbourn Neighbourhood Plan team for their efforts. They have put together a comprehensive Neighbourhood Plan which is robust and will help us in the planning process in the years ahead.”
Neighbourhood Plans can help communities influence development and protect biodiversity as part of the nature recovery network across Greater Cambridge, contributing towards the ambition to double the amount of land managed for nature in the area. They can identify areas for development and areas for protection and have the same status as Local Plans.
One example of Fulbourn’s new Neighbourhood Plan policies relates to the village’s streets and lanes. It aims to ensure that they are designed to match the character of the existing streets and lanes as far as possible when considering development proposals. The plan says that there should be minimal use of lighting and other street furniture, and that they should reflect the informal networks of streets, lanes and spaces which are characteristic of the village. Materials that have a low environmental impact and that provide for effective long-term maintenance are also prioritised.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Dr. Tumi Hawkins, summarised: “This is the eighth Neighbourhood Plan which we have created in South Cambridgeshire – and each one has only been possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of communities. These are key pieces of the planning system and really do help residents influence and shape where they live, work, play and study. It’s been a pleasure to hear about the development of this Plan in Fulbourn; we already have an excellent track record in supporting communities to develop Neighbourhood Plans and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Greater Cambridge Shared Planning, a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City councils, has specialist planning officers supporting the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans across the area as well as guidance material online for those thinking about preparing a plan for their community.
Fulbourn’s plan joins adopted plans from Gamlingay, West Wickham, Waterbeach, Foxton, Cottenham, Histon and Impington, and the Former Land Settlement Association Estate at Great Abington. Greater Cambridge Shared Planning continues to support work to prepare 14 Neighbourhood Plans for other areas.