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Monitoring delivery and land use in Greater Cambridge

Authority Monitoring Report

Monitoring is essential in order to establish what has been happening in Greater Cambridge: what is happening now, what may happen in the future - and what needs to be done to achieve policies and targets.

Councils produce an Authority Monitoring Report every year, which reports on the previous monitoring year from 1 April to 31 March. It contains information about the performance of planning policies set out in the adopted Local Plan and Area Action Plans, and also provides a general portrait of social, economic and environmental conditions in the city.

The Authority Monitoring Report also assesses the council’s progress in producing its Local Plan and Area Action Plans against the timetable set out in the Local Development Scheme. The annual publication of an Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) is a statutory requirement for all Local Authorities. The Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service produces a joint report for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils.

We have now published the Authority Monitoring Report for 2021 to 2022. Older reports can be found in our Reports Archive.

Housing trajectory

A housing trajectory is used by Councils to calculate their 5 year housing land supply and also to demonstrate that anticipated housing delivery will meet or exceed their housing requirement. 

We review the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five-year housing land supply calculations annually and it is published in April. The housing trajectory is prepared jointly for Greater Cambridge, consistent with the approach set out in the adopted Local Plans 2018. 

The  Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply Report (April 2023) concludes that we jointly have 6.1 years of housing land supply for the 2023-2028 five-year period. This conclusion is based on our five-year housing land supply being calculated jointly, using the Liverpool methodology, and applying a 5% buffer.

As we can demonstrate a five-year housing land supply for Greater Cambridge, the planning policies in the adopted Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans 2018 will be given full weight when making decisions on planning applications (unless there are other material factors to take into account). This will apply to any planning applications that are being considered from April 2023.

Housing Delivery Test

The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) is an annual assessment of actual housing delivery over the previous three years, measured against the housing requirement for the district for that same time period. It was introduced in 2018, and is conducted by the Ministry of Homes, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) using information supplied to them by local authorities. National planning policy and guidance sets out the consequences of different results of the Housing Delivery Test.

The latest set of HDT results were published in January 2022. The result for Cambridge is 133%. The result for South Cambridgeshire is 145%.

There are therefore no consequences as to how we determine planning applications, resulting from the HDT results published in January 2022 for Cambridge or South Cambridgeshire.

Brownfield Land Register

The Government requires local planning authorities to compile a Brownfield Land Register. The Greater Cambridge Land Register lists all the brownfield sites considered suitable for housing development.

Through Brownfield Land Registers, a standard set of information is kept up-to-date and made publicly available to provide information for developers and communities, and to encourage investment in local areas.

What is Brownfield land?

‘Brownfield' (previously developed) land is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework as:

"Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or was last occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill, where provision for restoration has been made through development management procedures; land in built-up areas such as residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape."

What is the Brownfield Land Register?

The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 requires each local planning authority to prepare and publish a Brownfield Land Register and update it, at least annually.

The purpose of Brownfield Land Registers is to provide up-to-date and consistent publicly available information on sites that local authorities consider to be appropriate for residential development.

The Government has published guidance to support local planning authorities in preparing and publishing Brownfield Land Registers. The guidance includes a template for compiling the Brownfield Land Register.

The Brownfield Land Register includes brownfield land that accords with the NPPF definition and the following criteria:

  • 0.25ha. / 5 dwellings or more,
  • Suitable in planning terms (in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and policies in the Development Plan),
  • Available (the landowner / promoter has expressed an intention to sell or develop the land and there are no known impediments to it being delivered),
  • Achievable (development is likely to start within 15 years).

The register is compiled in two parts:

  • Part 1 is a comprehensive list of identified brownfield sites.
  • Part 2 is a list of sites the Council considers appropriate to give
    Permission in Principle’.

Greater Cambridge Brownfield Land Register

The Brownfield Land Register provides publicly available information on all known brownfield sites in Greater Cambridge using data from the Councils’ Development Plans and sites with planning permission.

The 2021 Register sites have planning permission or resolution to grant planning permission, and some are allocations from the adopted Development Plans.

Given that all of the sites have planning permission or resolution to grant planning permission, they have been entered into Part 1 of The Register. As a result, there was no need to consider whether to grant ‘permission in principle’ (and enter sites into Part 2), or, undertake consultation, publicity and notification (which is required for Part 2 only). This may be a consideration for future reviews.

The Brownfield Land Register comprises a text file of data and a polygon GIS layer format:

Interactive map of Brownfield Land Register sites

The map shows the sites included within the Greater Cambridge Brownfield Land Register.

Please click the image to enlarge the map.

GCSP Brownfield Land Register Map

Future reviews of the Register.

The Greater Cambridge Brownfield Land Register will be reviewed on an annual basis.