Cambridge East Area Action Plan (February 2008)

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A.1 The Area Action Plan for Cambridge East identifies the site for a sustainable new urban quarter of approximately 10,000 to 12,000 dwellings and associated development as well as the off-site infrastructure needed to deliver and serve the urban quarter. It establishes an overall vision and a set of development principles for the new urban quarter including its relationship with Cambridge and surrounding villages and its countryside setting. It also sets out the policies and proposals to guide all the phases of development. The area covered by the Cambridge East Area Action Plan is shown on the Councils’ Proposals Maps as the area not covered by grey tone.

A.2 The development of Cambridge East will take many years to complete and the Area Action Plan provides the basis for the grant of planning permission for the first phase of development of land to the north of Newmarket Road that can take place ahead of the relocation of Cambridge Airport. A more general policy framework is provided for the rest of the site to provide an overall context for decisions on that first phase. An early review of the Area Action Plan will take place once the timing of later stages of development are more certain to provide a more detailed policy framework to be prepared for them. The evidence base for this major development may also change over time and this would inform the review of the Area Action Plan.

A.3 The Area Action Plan for Cambridge East has been prepared jointly by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council. It needs to be read in conjunction with:

  • South Cambridgeshire Local Development Framework, of which it forms part;
  • Cambridge City Local Plan.

A.4 The Area Action Plan will form part of the Development Plan for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District. The documents which make up the development plan area listed in each Council’s Local Development Scheme. These documents set out how each Council will move from the previous to the current development plans system, and lists which Local Development Documents are to be produced and when.

A.5 The Area Action Plan comprises policies and plans which will:

  • Establish a vision and development principles for Cambridge East;
  • Set out the broad policy context for the development of the area as a whole; and
  • Provide more detailed guidance for the first phase of development north of Newmarket Road.

A.6 In future reviews of the Area Action Plan, plans for the area will be refined, including further detail on aspects such as key transport infrastructure e.g. dedicated busway, and location of local centres in the wider development. They may be augmented by a formal off-site Infrastructure Plan that will form part of the Proposals Map, once the transport and any other infrastructure proposals are further developed.

A.7 The Area Action Plan will provide a context for detailed plans to be prepared before and during the development process:

  • A Spatial Masterplan for the whole of the new urban quarter will be prepared to accompany the outline planning application for the first phase of development north of Newmarket Road. This will show how the Concept Plan will be interpreted and demonstrate how the first phase of development will integrate with the longer term plans for the area. It will also provide the context for an outline application for the rest of the site that will come forward closer to the time that the relocation of the airport and development on the airport site will take place. The Spatial Masterplan will show the general disposition of development, roads, district and local centres, services, open space and landscaping.
  • Strategic Design Guidance (incorporated in the Spatial Masterplan and supplemented by Design and Access Statements for each major phase of development).
  • Design Guides and Design Codes will be prepared to accompany any planning applications for individual neighbourhoods, the district centre and any major employment areas or areas of strategic recreation / open space. They will be required for Phase 1 of development north of Newmarket Road. The Design Guides and Design Codes will set more detailed criteria to create a clear identity for these areas, but will not replace the need for careful design of individual buildings and areas as proposals are brought forward as planning applications.

A.8 A number of strategies are also required as part of the implementation of development at Cambridge East to ensure that it is a high quality sustainable development which meets the needs of its residents and respects the character of Cambridge and its surroundings. Those strategies, and the need for them are identified in the Area Action Plan.

A.9 The Area Action Plan concerns itself with a number of practical issues concerning the future governance of Cambridge East, which lies partly within Cambridge City and partly within South Cambridgeshire, but it does not address wider governance issues which are not proper subjects for consideration in a planning policy document. The issue of governance is an important issue for this major development and will be considered in parallel with, but separate from, the Area Action Plan.

A.10  A Glossary of Technical and Other Terms is to be found at the back of this document.

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