Oxford Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework consultation response published
Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils have submitted their joint response to the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework vision consultation following elected member approval. The two Councils have also endorsed the Shared regional principles for protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc which has been developed and published by the Arc Leadership Group.
The Councils’ response to the Spatial Framework consultation notes that the consultation does not publish any proposals on which to comment and is a high level survey aiming to gather views before preparing a vision. The Councils note that the Spatial Framework must align with the work being done at local level, in particular the Greater Cambridge Local Plan which is in development. The response also states that a key role for the Arc Spatial Framework will be to acknowledge the environmental impacts of water abstraction from the chalk aquifer and the need for a regional approach to both address water resource availability and reduce impact on habitats such as the chalk streams. This will need to include detail relating to funding, sequencing and coordination of infrastructure, and acknowledgement of the multiple stakeholders key to its delivery.
The Shared regional principles for protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc have been published by the Arc Leadership Group Environment Working Group, which is chaired by Cllr Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council. The principles are not formal policy but rather a shared statement of ambition for the Arc and they are the result of a collaborative piece of work led by a range of partners and stakeholders. They are intended to support the position with respect to the environment policies emerging from the Arc Spatial Framework, allow use of the Arc as a place for DEFRA to test and apply its 25-year plan and funding through pilots and projects and to support Local Planning Authorities with a frame of reference to further develop the principles through Local and Strategic Plans at a local and sub-regional level.