News and Updates
Brilliant news and a great interim result for StopBAD!In a letter issued by the Inspectors last week, SCDC and Cambridge City Council have been asked by the inspectors to carry out more work on the testing of alternatives to the development strategy. This will include ensuring that alternative options of building extra homes on the edge of Cambridge have been considered in the same way as proposed allocations for additional homes at new towns and new villages – a strategy more people preferred during early public consultation. South Cambs Lib Dem leader Cllr Bridget Smith described the inspectors' letter as suggesting "a planning disaster".
The councils will now need to comprehensively test the alternative development strategy for building on the fringe of Cambridge and fairly and even-handedly compare the sustainability of that model against the new settlement model.
This is as good a result as the StopBAD campaign could have expected from the EIP. Had the inspectors not provided these preliminary findings, and the EIP had continued uninterrupted to its conclusion, they should certainly have found the Local Plan unsound. The Councils have been given a reprieve. They need to fix the problems - chief among them the unsustainability of the new settlements model as outlined in the current Local Plan. They also the need to revisit the decision to build only 6% of proposed houses in sites on the urban fringe - the 2nd tier option from the Sustainable Development Strategy.
LibDem District Councillor Tumi Hawkins said, "I am not entirely surprised by the preliminary conclusion that the Inspector has reached. Whilst it puts SCDC in a difficult position of having to go back to the drawing board on some issues, it vindicates the arguments that those of us who have raised questions about the suitability of BAD, especially in relation to transport and infrastructure issues. We told SCDC, but it would not listen.
StopBAD have campaigned long and hard, and we should appreciate the work that all the volunteers have done to date to put forward the case for Stopping BAD".
Cllr Des O'Brien said "I see a new public consultation and a more rigorous, open and honest debate on the Green Belt looming". In an interview for the Cambridge News earlier he said, "Cambridge can't have its cake and eat it".
Further meetings are now scheduled this week to address these issues and we will continue to keep you posted.