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Histon and Impington Village Action Group Guidance for completing SCDC Draft Local Plan consultation

This round of consultation is different to Issues and Options 1 & 2, the district council’s previous consultations on the Draft Local Plan. This time people’s comments will be viewed by the planning inspector. The inspector will be checking to make sure the Local Plan is:     Positively prepared Justified Effective Consistent with national policy

If the inspector considers the plan is all of the above, it will be considered a ‘sound’ plan and will be approved. The consultation closes on 14th October at 5pm. To see a map of the proposed development area for Impington go to Policy H/1 and scroll down to Histon and Impington. Click on the ‘world’ icon to view the map. To make on-line submissions to the consultation you will need to follow these steps: 1 2 Go to http://www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan Click on the ONLINE CONSULTATION SYSTEM. This will take you to the page where all the draft documents are. You can view these without registering but if you want to comment, you will need to REGISTER. You need your email address and a password. Once registered, click on the Proposed Submission Local Plan link. This takes you to the PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN page. You will now see a huge list of 10 chapters containing many different policies. You can of course comment on any chapter or policy. Once you click on a particular policy you will go to a different window. Just click on the pencil icon and you will go to a form where you can make your comments (as long as you are registered and signed in). You must make a submission against a specific policy for it to be considered. If you want to particularly comment on the Green Belt policies and the proposals for Impington these are the relevant policies: Policy S/4 Policy H/1 6 2.32 Cambridge Green Belt H/1:d Allocations for Residential Development at Villages

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Policy S/4 2.32 Green Belt release Click on policy S/4 scroll down to 2.32. Click on the pencil icon You will see a box to click on that asks ‘Do you support or object?’ The box below that says: Why do you support or object to the plan? It is important that your comments cover any information, evidence and any suggested change that you wish the Council and the Inspector to consider. This is because it is not anticipated that there will be a further opportunity to make comments before the examination. After this stage, any further comments can only be made at the request of the Inspector appointed to examine the soundness of the Local Plan, based on matters they identify for examination. There is a box below that for your comments. 1

Histon and Impington Village Action Group Guidance for completing SCDC Draft Local Plan consultation

These are the suggested points if you oppose building on the Green Belt North of Impington Lane: To avoid people making submissions that are identical, you may want to change some words.      The National Planning Policy Framework states that ‘Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances.’ Exceptional circumstances to remove the land north of Impington Lane do not exist. Unmet demand cannot be accepted as an ‘exceptional reason’ as there will always be a need to build more houses. The proposed development therefore conflicts with national policy to protect the Green Belt. The benefit of building 25 houses on Green Belt in Impington, only 0.075% of the estimated 33,000 additional homes needed in Cambridge and South Cambs, does not outweigh the harm to the Green Belt in Impington The proposal cannot be considered as ‘infilling’ as defined in the NPPF as the site is on the edge of the village, outside the village framework. Previous planning applications for this land have been refused on the grounds of no justification to depart from Green Belt policy. In the South Cambs consultation (Issues & Options1) a clear majority (over 90%) agreed that the Green Belt purpose and functions remain appropriate. A strategy that uses Green Belt first, rather than Brownfield within the County, cannot be justified. To make the plan sound SCDC needs to look at possible Brownfield sites such as the one adjacent to P&R at Longstanton. A decision to allow this Green Belt release will set a precedent for similar development in the area. The Council has an adequate 5 year supply of new dwellings (2016-21) without taking small amounts of Green Belt land.

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Click on Policy H/1 Policy H/1:d Allocations for Residential Development at Villages This takes you to a list of all the housing allocations in the villages. Impington is the 4th one down.

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Histon and Impington Village Action Group Guidance for completing SCDC Draft Local Plan consultation

These are the suggested points for Policy H/1:d:  The harm to the Green Belt at this site would have an adverse impact on the appearance and character of the area. It is on the edge of the village and contributes significantly to the rural feel of that part of the village. The benefit of 25 dwellings for the village does not outweigh the harm to the Green Belt. The proposed development does not fall within any of the exceptions set out in paragraph 89 of the National Planning Policy Framework. Nearby properties report flooding is an issue. Difficult for some properties to obtain house insurance. There is an issue with places at the Infants School as it has recently been oversubscribed. A large cohort will be going through in 2015/16 (96 and PAN of 90) resulting in a possible deficit of places. Mitigation may not be possible due to limited physical capacity to expand the school. The entrance to the site is constrained by the land of 2 adjacent properties. It is unlikely that the necessary visibility splays can be achieved to create a safe junction. Local people report frequent issues with the main road, Impington Lane. It is narrow, a bus route and used as an alternative route by cars to avoid the A14. The Impington Parish has 279 dwellings (NIAB 3, Station, Merrington, Villa Road) planned or built since 2011. Our services are over-stretched. Development of this site will impact on the community in that some children (further from the school) may not get places at the local school. It’s not sustainable if families have to travel outside the village to get to school. More houses are needed in the South of the City due to jobs growth. We have lost significant employment in the North. The Council assumes developing here is sustainable due to the Guided Bus. However, most local people do not use it as it is placed too far away from their home.

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If your comments are more than 100 words you will be asked to provide a Summary of Comments in 100 words or less. The next box says that if you are making an objection, please explain what change you would like to be made to the plan. If you object to the proposals for Impington Lane, you can put something about removing it from the Local Plan here.

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Histon and Impington Village Action Group Guidance for completing SCDC Draft Local Plan consultation

Do not be put off by the language used in the following boxes!
10 It asks you consider that the Local Plan complies with the law. This is hard if you don’t know the relevant regulations! It must comply with the Town and County Planning (Local Development) (England Regulations) 2012 and with national policy. The next box asks if the Local Plan is ‘sound’. ‘Sound’ in this context means is the plan positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy. You may consider that it is none of these. If you have mentioned that including Green Belt land in the Plan goes against the National Planning Policy Framework, then you will want to tick the box that says it is not ‘consistent with national policy’. The next box says that if you are making an objection, please explain what change you would like to be made to the plan. If you object to the proposals for Impington Lane, you can put something about removing it from the Local Plan here. It then asks if you want to attend an independent examination if the inspector requests it. (The inspector will see all written representations).

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You should have a medal if you’ve got this far! It is overly complicated and ridiculously inaccessible to most people!
City Council’s draft Local Plan consultation If you would like to comment on the City Council’s proposals to remove land from the Green Belt: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/draft-local-plan-2014 Click on online submission system then go to Cambridge Local Plan 2014 – Proposed Submission Policy 26: Site specific development opportunities. This asks for comments on the proposal for 430 houses on GB1 and GB2 – land North and South of Wort’s Causeway. Consultation closes 30th September.

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