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Green Belt

Dispersal: new settlements (concept illustration)

Decisions about the Green Belt impact on all location choices. The Green Belt covers around 25% of South Cambridgeshire. It adjoins much of the built edge of Cambridge and surrounds villages sitting within the Green Belt, including several of the largest villages. The Green Belt plays an important role in maintaining the special qualities of Cambridge and the surrounding area. The purposes of the Cambridge Green Belt have long been defined as to:

  • preserve the unique character of Cambridge as a compact, dynamic city with a thriving historic centre.

  • maintain and enhance the quality of its setting.

  • prevent communities in the environs of Cambridge from merging into one another and with the city.

However, the Green Belt also restricts growth on the edge of Cambridge, a location that has sustainability advantages in terms of access to jobs and services and reducing trips by the private car that could help mitigate our climate impacts. In that context, national planning policy requires that local plans consider the impact on sustainable development (see glossary) of channelling growth outside the Green Belt. At the same time, recent changes also mean that alternatives have to be fully explored before land can be removed from the Green Belt. This will be an important issue for the plan.

Read more about other key influences on locating new development:

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