Several planning/development issues of interest to Stapleford residents merit an update this month.

1. Improved pre-application planning advice service
Anyone considering building works that may require planning permission in 2021 and beyond is recommended to take note of the following. As of Dec 2020, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service has revamped the way it provides advice to people in the area who plan to submit a planning application, bringing together two separate processes previously offered by Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Council into a single new streamlined service.

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service offers a broad menu of advice, from a 15-minute free consultation with a planner about minor household applications through to paid-for specialist advice on issues such as listed buildings, ecology and housing. The service aims to help potential applicants develop high quality proposals that will meet with planning requirements, which should in turn lead to applications being validated and decided more quickly. You can apply for advice and book appointments online here.

Planning decisions in Stapleford will continue to be made by SCDC, with Stapleford Parish Council inputting its views when/where appropriate. Migrating selected SCDC content to the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning website may temporarily result in delays to planning decisions.

Details on submitting a planning request or to look at current planning applications can be found on the SPC website here.

2. Ongoing London Road development
Many residents will have walked or driven past the London Road development site near the junction with Church Street. Outline planning permission was granted in October 2018 to demolish numbers 59-61 London Road to make way for four detached properties. The permission contained numerous conditions, including the protection of various existing trees and the front boundary flint wall. The latter was insisted upon by Stapleford Parish Council, which has been closely monitoring work on site and communicating with the developer.

The wall has been demolished because tree roots have made it unstable. When the development is nearing completion, the wall will be rebuilt (with one entrance rather than the previous two) using the original cobs that have all been saved. The developers have contracted a cob wall specialist to do this. The middle of three trees (a yew) along the front boundary is due to be removed. Half of this fell in a storm around 15 years ago and the remaining half is damaged. The developer has applied to SCDC to do this, the Tree Officer has visited, the Parish Council received notification, and the tree will be removed at the appropriate time.

3. MP’s housebuilding survey
On 1st Feb 2021, Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, launched his South Cambridgeshire Development Survey to give residents their say on housebuilding in the constituency. The survey seeks to understand residents’ views on key planning issues, such as water supply, digital connectivity, public transport and community services. It also takes consultation into account, asking if residents feel ‘listened to’ on planning issues.

Commenting, Mr Browne said: “Where and how we build new houses in South Cambridgeshire is being worked out right now, but we need to cut through the numbers and listen to those who will be most impacted by any proposals.

Growth is to be expected and encouraged, but it is essential that residents’ views are heard when it comes to the level of that growth. We need to seek sustainability, so everyone has total confidence that our area can cope with levels of development – that we won’t face water shortages, congestion or any other irreparably adverse impact on our quality of life in South Cambridgeshire.”

The survey is available here.