Greater Cambridge Local Plan
Your ideas have shaped our First Proposals for the new Local Plan.
We have now closed our consultation on the First Proposals. Read the proposals that we consulted on, and explore the map to see what sites we suggested for development and strategic green space projects.
- About the Greater Cambridge Local Plan
- The plan’s aims and themes
- Where are we proposing to build?
- What we have done so far
- What happens next
- Find out more
- Contact and sign up for updates
The new Local Plan is the most important document you've (probably) never heard of. It will affect how we live, work and play in Greater Cambridge over the next 20 years and beyond.
Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to create a joint Local Plan for the two areas – which we are referring to as Greater Cambridge. This is the first time we will have a joint Local Plan, and it will ensure that there is a consistent approach to planning and building across both areas up to 2041.
A Local Plan is a legal document that the Councils are required to prepare, which sets out the future land use and planning policies for the area over a set time period. This includes:
- the amount of new homes and jobs that should be planned for
- the services and infrastructure that are needed to support this change
- where new development should happen, and where should be protected from development
It follows a process set out in national legislation and guidance. Once it has been through all the stages of preparation and consultation, it will be independently tested at a public examination to check it is sound, before it can be formally adopted. The examination will test whether the Plan is realistic, deliverable and based on good evidence.
Local Plans are the basis of decision-making on planning applications, alongside national planning policy and other supplementary guidance.
We want Greater Cambridge to be a place where a big decrease in our climate impacts comes with a big increase in the quality of everyday life for all our communities. New development must minimise carbon emissions and reliance on the private car; create thriving neighbourhoods with the variety of jobs and homes we need; increase nature, wildlife and green spaces; and safeguard our unique heritage and landscapes.
Our new Plan takes inspiration from what is unique about our area, and embraces the bold new approaches that will help us achieve this vision. The First Proposals for the Plan have been guided by these principles – to ensure that development leaves Greater Cambridge better than before, for future generations.
The Plan is at an early stage of development and there are no confirmed proposals to build anything anywhere yet, apart from on the sites that were allocated in the adopted 2018 Local Plans for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, and sites which already have planning permission.
In our First Proposals we suggested 19 new sites that we think might be suitable for additional development to meet our needs up to 2041. These were chosen from over 900 sites that were assessed. These proposed sites have no planning status yet, and will not have any status until the new Plan is adopted, which may not be until 2024 or 2025.
View a map of our proposed sites, which we consulted on as part of the First Proposals consultation.
View a map of all the sites submitted to the Councils for possible development, as part of the Call for Sites in the early plan-making stages.
In 2019 we held an initial Call for Sites and workshops with a wide range of groups including Residents Associations, Parish Councils, landowners and agents, statutory consultees and others, to understand what they felt the big issues for the Plan might be.
In January and February 2020, we held the First Conversation – a big public consultation on the big themes and challenges for the plan. We also extended the Call for Sites to invite further development sites, and sites for potential new green infrastructure, to be put forward.
In November 2020 we published initial evidence base findings and development strategy options assessments. You can read our news release about the headline findings, and the additional water briefing we published at the time. We held a series of workshops with parish councils, residents’ associations, statutory bodies and other relevant stakeholders to explore the evidence and options assessments, and to hear what strategy and policies they thought we should be developing.
In January 2021 we invited Parish Councils and Residents Associations to contribute their local knowledge about the sites put forward for development, and this fed into our assessment of their suitability.
In November-December 2021 we held a full public consultation on the First Proposals for the Plan, including a wide range of in-person and online events and activity.
You can read more about how consultation has influenced the Plan so far in the Consultation Statement in our document library.
We are now considering what you have told us in our last consultation and developing a full Draft Plan during 2022. To keep updated, please fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page.
You can also read our Local Development Scheme for more detail about how we intend to develop the Plan. This will be kept under review as we prepare the Plan.
All documents relating to the First Proposals are held in our Document Library.
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions webpage
You can also watch our previous webinars:
- Webinar on North East Cambridge: Area Action Plan and Local Plan, 25 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and the webinar Q&A.
- Webinar on biodiversity and green spaces, 24 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and the webinar Q&A.
- Webinar on exploring Climate Change and Water Usage, 18 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and the webinar Q&A.
- Webinar on exploring the sites and spatial strategy, 11 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and the webinar Q&A.
- Webinar on exploring the numbers for jobs and homes, 10 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and the webinar Q&A.
- Webinar introducing the Local Plan and how to get involved, 4 November 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar.
- Webinar on the Local Plan First Proposals, September 2021: Webinar video, slides from the webinar and answers to the questions which could not be answered within the time allowed for the webinar.
- Webinar on interim evidence base findings, November 2020: Webinar video, slides from the webinar
- Webinar on the First Conversation consultation and Call for Sites data release, September 2020: Webinar video, answers to the questions which could not be answered within the time allowed for the webinar.