Waterbeach residents invited to join village’s Neighbourhood Plan consultation
Councillors are urging residents to comment on the draft Neighbourhood Plan for Waterbeach during a consultation which runs from today (16 February) to 20 April 2021. The draft Plan has been developed by the Waterbeach community over the last six years and, once finalised and adopted, would have equal status to the wider Local Plan for Greater Cambridge, when it comes to setting out where, what and how new development should take place locally.
The Waterbeach Neighbourhood Plan’s vision is to ensure that during any new development:
- the identity and character of the existing communities within the parish are respected and protected
- that new development in the parish would provide sustainable infrastructure and improve the quality of life for residents
- and that new development should not be overbearing or overwhelming – it should complement the rural vistas and existing Fen Edge landscape.
The 16 February to 20 April consultation is the last opportunity for the public to comment, before the Plan is examined by an independent planning examiner. The examiner’s role is to test the Neighbourhood Plan against the basic conditions that are set out in national regulations. The Plan will then need to be passed by a referendum of Waterbeach residents, before being adopted as part of the planning framework used to assess planning applications in South Cambridgeshire.
Cllr Dr Tumi Hawkins, Lead Member for Planning at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is fantastic that the hard work of the Waterbeach community has now reached this point in the process where, after six years, they have a fully drafted Neighbourhood Plan and are inviting everyone in the community to take a look and to share their thoughts on the policies. I hope that all local residents will take part, building on the brilliant local engagement that has already been seen thanks to the efforts of the community so that the Neighbourhood Plan, once finalised and adopted, is something everyone in Waterbeach can support as a mechanism for ensuring their voices continue to be heard in local planning applications.”
Neighbourhood Plans are developed by local communities with support from the district council. They have an equal status to Local Plans in the development plan hierarchy and can set out where, what and how new development should take place in their designated area. Neighbourhood Plans must conform in general terms to the strategic policies in the Local Plan for the area, and cannot propose less development overall than the Local Plan puts forward.
16 February 2021
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