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First Conversation consultation and Call for Sites


About the First Conversation consultation 

In January and February 2020 we held the first big public conversation with our communities about what the new Local Plan should contain. We published a lot of material for discussion and debate, and asked for your thoughts and comments online and through in person events and engagement. We also asked you to submit sites which you thought would be suitable for development, and sites which you thought should be protected as green spaces. 

As part of the consultation we also asked for your comments on the Sustainability Appraisal, Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, and Habitats Regulations Assessment Scoping Report.  

Visit our document library to read all the consultation documents.

The First Conversation consultation reached more people than ever before, with over 5,000 visitors to our website, 6,000 people engaged at events and 30,000 views of our videos online. 

We received over 8,500 comments and responses to the consultation questions from a huge range of people, over 650 suggested sites for development and 21 sites for green spaces. Thank you to everyone who shared your ideas and feedback with us. 

We published all the submissions we received in September 2020 and we are providing monthly updates to the published documents, to reflect further sites being submitted or withdrawn and clarifications from landowners/agents as part of our checking and assessment process.

We received comments and responses to the consultation in a number of different ways, so please read our summary report and frequently asked questions which will tell you more about the data we have released, and how it will influence the plan’s development. 

First conversation results 


About the Call for Sites and Call for Green Sites 

A Call for Sites is a way for landowners, developers, individuals and other interested parties to suggest sites for development, and to let us know when they may be available for development. This is a normal part of plan making.  

Government planning guidance advises that, ‘if the process to identify land is to be transparent and identify as many potential opportunities as possible, it is important to issue a call for sites and broad locations for development.  

We need to ensure that the sites eventually allocated within the Plan are deliverable. This means, among other factors, that the landowner is open to developing it within the required timescales, so a Call for Sites is an important part of finding out what land may be available. 

An initial Call for Sites was held in 2019 and we also held a Call for Sites as part of the First Conversation. We also included a Call for Green Sites, asking for suggestions of land to grow and enhance the green space network. Anyone could submit sites for either development or green space, and none of these suggestions holds any planning status at this stage. 

The data published is of all sites submitted to us. A total of 688 sites have been submitted, comprising over 16,500 hectares of land. As would be expected, this adds up to far more land than we will need for development. The suggested sites have no planning status at this stage, and the Councils have not made any judgement about which sites may be appropriate for development in the future. We are still accepting new sites but not currently assessing them. Any sites submitted to us now will be considered following the consultation on the Greater Cambridge Local Plan Preferred Options, later in the plan-making process. If you wish to submit a new site, please email us to request a Site Proforma. 

Sites will be rigorously tested for their suitability, for example looking at flood risk, landscape impact, transport access, and other factors. We will also consider their sustainability, and how they fit with the strategic direction of the Plan. We will consult fully on any sites which may be included in the Plan, as part of the plan-making process going forward. 

For more information about how sites will be assessed and selected, visit our frequently asked questions. 

Call for Sites results

Call for Green Sites results 


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