SCDC 5 year housing land supply update

As of Monday 21 May 2018, South Cambridgeshire District Council considers that it can demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. This means the Council can demonstrate that there is enough land readily available to meet the number of homes that need to be built over that period.

Since June 2014, the Council has been unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply which has resulted in speculative housing development in villages.

The Council has been keeping the situation under close review.

As a result of an Appeal decision in Cottenham on 10 May, and a recalculation arising from the additional homes contained in that “allowed” appeal, the Council can now, it considers, demonstrate a supply of 5.0 years for the purposes of determining planning applications and for forthcoming planning appeals.

This is based on the ‘Sedgefield’ method of calculating five-year housing land supply (the more onerous of the two methods of calculation) and includes a 20% buffer, as used in recent appeal decisions, pending the conclusion of the Local Plan process.

The main factors that have led to this change in circumstances are:

From 1 April, the Council has moved into a “new” five-year monitoring period ( 2018-2023) 

The Council has granted (or has resolved to grant – see below) planning permission for a number of additional new homes which are anticipated to be completed during the 5-year period. 

Planning appeals have also permitted a quantum of additional new homes 

The move into the new 5 year horizon, includes assumed provision (in the latter years) of new homes from the Councils proposed “strategic allocations” at Waterbeach and Bourn Airfield, to add to existing sites, such as Northstowe. 

On 10 May the Inspector’s decision on an appeal in Cottenham, where the appeal for 154 homes was allowed prompted officers to undertake the recalculation of the figure for the 5 year land supply.

The calculation and above conclusion is based upon four important considerations.

Firstly, that six planning applications which are currently progressing (following a resolution to grant by the Planning Committee or under delegated powers) to conclude the appropriate Section 106 agreement (S106) are counted as part of our calculation. These applications must be concluded and the planning permissions will need to be issued promptly;

Secondly, of the six applications, one requires the committee’s agreement that the S106 is modified to address a pooling (of S106 contributions) issue that would otherwise render the proposal at risk of a successful challenge;

Thirdly, that the Submitted Local Plan strategic site allocations are able to contribute towards housing delivery in this 5-year monitoring period. This includes assumed completions at Waterbeach and Bourn Airfield;

Fourthly, that following a health check of the assumptions made in the published housing trajectory, the homes assumed in the housing trajectory for 2018-2023 at the Dales Manor Industrial Estate housing allocation in Sawston have been removed from the calculation, as part of the site is now being developed for employment.

The Planning Service has sought legal advice on its assumptions and Counsel has considered the conclusions reached to be reasonable. Based upon the above conclusion the Planning Service has therefore begun reviewing all of the current undetermined planning applications where a 5-year land supply may be material. Officers will also be advising the Planning Inspectorate of the revised calculation to ensure that all future appeal decisions have regard to this up to date figure.

An update document has now been published on the Council’s website as the Council’s formal position on five-year housing land supply. It can be seen by visiting:


One comment on “SCDC 5 year housing land supply update

  1. Many thanks to our Parish councillors, particularly those involved with planning, for all their time and effort in trying to ensure that development in our village is appropriate and sustainable, made so much more difficult during this period of planning chaos.

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