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About the Greater Cambridge Local Plan


The Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are working together to create a joint Local Plan for the 2 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 over the next 20 years.

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. It sets out:

  • 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 and is independently tested at a public examination to check it is sound. This means that it is realistic, deliverable and based on good evidence – before it can be formally adopted.

Local Plans are key in making decisions on future planning applications in the area, alongside national planning policy and other supplementary guidance.

Map of Greater Cambridge

What we have done so far

  • Call for Sites (2019). We held a Call for Sites in early 2019, the results of which have now been published alongside the Call for Sites as part of the First Conversation consultation. 
  • Stakeholder Workshops (2019). We held initial workshops with a wide range of groups including residents associations, Parish Councils, landowners and agents, statutory consultees and others.
  • First Conversation consultation (January-February 2020). We held an ‘issues and options’ consultation alongside a further Call for Sites and Call for Green Sites
  • Published results of the First Conversation consultation and Calls for Sites (September 2020)
  • Published an update to the results of the First Conversation consultation and Calls for Sites (October 2020)


What happens next 

We will hold the next formal public consultation, on the preferred options for the Local Plan, in summer or autumn 2021. We will inform you when the dates for this consultation are finalised. 

In the meantime, we are working on evidence that will inform the Plan, alongside reviewing the comments and testing the sites received through the consultation.  

Later this autumn 2020, we are planning to publish a report on some initial findings of key evidence, including scenarios for the jobs and homes we should plan for, and for strategic spatial options. These will be tested against the Councils’ overarching themes of climate change, biodiversity and green spaces, wellbeing and social inclusion, and great places. We will also be talking to community groups, stakeholder organisations and other bodies about these initial findings. 

Please refer to our Local Development Scheme for more detail about how we intend to develop the Plan.

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