What is 'Neighbourhood Planning'?  



January 2016 Prince’s Foundation briefing on BIMBY Beauty in my back yard”. February meetings with Cambridge City Planning Department to form a Neighbourhood Forum.


2016.   Vision Statement


Three community workshops were held.   At workshop 3 “five essential qualities of place” were agreed. Mix of housing styles, Connectivity, Town/Country interface, Sense of Community.   A leaflet was distributed to all residents and responses analysed and draft Vision Statement written for NP.


2017    South Newnham Neighbourhood Forum established.


First AGM Constitution and Aims 22 May 2017.  Forum become Statutory Consultees.


2017   1st draft Neighbourhood Plan.    Consultant, Ian Poole from Cambridge City Council.  


The framework of NP to be based on Local Plan headings.  


7 Working Parties formed:   20 residents including 8 committee members were involved.  Areas covered included balanced supply of housing, character and heritage, built environment, green open spaces, community facilities and network of safe routes


Street Appraisals involved a large number of residents, working with templates to record features of the streets of Newnham. In all around 50 people were involved in the gathering of evidence.


2018   2nd draft Neighbourhood Plan.  Consultant Neil Homer appointed Aug 2018  


He proposed a radical restructuring and re-write of the draft NP. The revised approach was supported by our subsequent Cambridge City Planning liaison, David Roberts.


  • The area be split into four distinct character Areas:  The Croft,: Barton Road,: Grantchester Road, : Gough Way.  


Area teams were formed to gather further evidence including:  Snickets, House Character Types, Local Heritage Assets, Community Assets.   House type templates were designed to help record evidence.


  • Green Spaces was restructured under headings: Green Corridor, Water, Boundaries and Tree Canopy, Allotments and Farmland, Playing Fields, Notable Species.


  • Most of the evidence was put into the Evidence Base and a much slimmer document covering the Policies was drafted.


2019   Draft Plan presentation at open meeting in Social Club which was to be followed by Area presentations.

18 September 2019 Meeting with Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Services 


Cambridge Shared Planning Services Comments:


  • The NP should tell a story and give more information on how the Forum was established in the Community. 

  • All policies included in NP must have evidence to back them up and it was recommended that we transfer some of this information back into NP from the Evidence Base.

  • Vision Statement to be revised and flow into policies and actions

  • 6 week public consultation of this draft plan

  • Census data to be updated.  

2022   The 3rd Draft for the Neighbourhood Plan is now under preparation.

What has been achieved :


  • Public involvement and commitment in workshops and consultation with residents

  • Writing and compiling comprehensive Evidence Base and Street Appraisals

  • Draft NP policies

  • Understanding of Cambridge Local Plan and policies

  • Use of street appraisals to inform ‘responding to context’ in planning applications

  • Submission of section on Green infrastructure to consultation on new Local Plan.

  • Response to Government’s consultation “Planning for the future”

  • Formation of Friends Groups e.g. Paradise Nature Reserve, Friends of Lammas Land and Skaters’ Meadow Footpath.