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Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Your ideas have shaped our First Proposals for the new Local Plan.

Tell us what you think today. Read the Planview the map, answer our quick questionnaire, or use other ways to comment – it’s up to you.

Our consultation is open until 5pm on 13 December 2021. Talk to our team at an online or in-person event, or watch videos from previous events.


About the Greater Cambridge Local Plan

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.


What is our big vision?

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.


Where are we proposing to build?

The Plan is at a very 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 City and South Cambridgeshire, and sites which already have planning permission.

In our First Proposals we have 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 assessed by our team. 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. You can tell us whether you think they are the right sites, as part of our First Proposals consultation.

View a map of our currently proposed sites

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.


The plan-making process so far

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 September 2020 we published the responses to the consultation and calls for sites. Read our news release about the findings.

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.

In November 2020 we also 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 has been fed into our assessment of their suitability.

In August 2021 we published the First Proposals for the Plan for consideration by councillors at both Councils. After they scrutinised and commented on the proposals, we made some changes and published the First Proposals for full public consultation.

You can read more about how consultation has influenced the Plan so far in the Consultation Statement in our document library.


What happens next?

After this consultation, we will consider what you have told us carefully, and develop the Plan in more detail. We hope to publish a full Draft Plan in 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.

Talk to our team – online and in-person events

We are holding a range of face-to-face and online events where you can hear from the team and ask us any questions. All our online events are recorded so you can also watch back in your own time. Look at our YouTube library or use the video links below.

  • Thursday 4 November, 12 to 1pm: Online event: About the plan and how to get involved. Link to recording below.
  • Wednesday 10 November, 12 to 1pm: Online event: Explore the numbers for homes and jobs. Link to recording below. 
  • Wednesday 10 November, 6 to 8pm: Local Plan team will be attending Cambridge East Community Forum
  • Thursday 11 November, 12 to 1pm: Online event: Explore the sites and spatial strategy. Link to recording below.
  • Thursday 11 November, 4 to 7pm: In-person drop-in event: Clay Farm community centre
  • Saturday 13 November, 10am to 1pm: In-person drop-in event: Melbourn Hub
  • Wednesday 17 November, 5 to 6pm: Online event: Climate change and water. Link to recording below. 
  • Wednesday 17 November, 6pm: Local Plan team will be attending North West and West Cambridge Community Forum
  • Thursday 18 November, 4.30 to 7.30pm: In-person drop-in event: Cambourne Hub
  • Thursday 18 November, 6.30pm: Local Plan team will be attending North Area Committee
  • Friday 19 November, 10am to 12pm: Local Plan team will be attending Abbey People community coffee morning, Barnwell Hub
  • Saturday 20 November, 10am to 12pm: In-person drop-in event: Barnwell Hub
  • Wednesday 24 November, 12 to 1pm: Online event: Biodiversity and green spaces. Join via Zoom, passcode 482734.
  • Wednesday 24 November, 6pm, Local Plan team will be attending A428 Development Cluster meeting.
  • Thursday 25 November, 12 to 1pm: Online event: North East Cambridge: the Area Action Plan and the Local Plan. Join via Zoom, passcode 400405. 
  • Thursday 25 November, 3 to 7pm: In-person drop-in event: Arbury Community Centre
  • Thursday 25 November, 6.30pm: Local Plan team will be attending West Central Area Committee
  • Saturday 27 November, 9am to 12pm: In-person drop-in event: Great Shelford Farmers Market
  • Monday 29 November, 7pm: Local Plan team will be attending South Area Committee
  • Thursday 2 December, 6.30pm: Local Plan team will be attending East Area Committee

You can also watch our previous webinars:


Find out more

You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions webpage which may be helpful, and you can also consult our Document Library.

View the Public Notice for the First Proposals consultation.

Contact and sign up for updates

For queries about the Local Plan, please email the team on or phone 01954 713 694.

To keep updated with progress on the Local Plan, please fill in the contact form:

Sign up for updates


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