Major expansion plans for Cambridge have been met with resistance from the local authority which said it has not been consulted on the ‘speculative’ development.
“Cambridge 2040”, a document by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), allegedly proposes the construction of 250,000 new homes in the city over two decades.
First reported in the Sunday Times, the “huge expansion” also aims to turn the city into the “Silicon Valley of Europe”, as part of housing secretary Michael Gove’s plan to draw investment from science and technology industries.
When approached, the Department did not deny the existence of the document, but did say it is “determined to help more young families own a home of their own”.
Adding: “That means working with local communities to build more of the right homes in the right places.”
But Cambridge City Council said it had not been consulted on the “significant increases in housing” – which are also said to still be at ‘concept’ stage.
It said it expects to be “fully” involved in any decisions regarding the future of Cambridge and the surrounding area, which is believed to currently have a population in the region of 150,000.
Local Plans outline the anticipated housing need related to the predicted growth in jobs in the area.
Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s new joint Local Plan provides for around 51,000 new homes to be built in Greater Cambridge by 2041.
A spokesperson for Cambridge City Council said: “We note the speculation in the Sunday Times that suggests ministers are considering significant increases in housing in and around Cambridge.
“The city council has not been consulted on these ideas, which we note are described as being at the ‘concept’ stage.
“As the planning authority, the council would expect to be fully engaged in any proposals and the decision-making regarding the future of our city.”
In response, a DLUHC spokesperson said: “We are determined to help more young families own a home of their own – and that means working with local communities to build more of the right homes in the right places.
“We know that development is only welcomed when new homes are beautiful and built alongside new GP surgeries, schools and transport links.
“Our reforms have democracy, environmental enhancement and new neighbourhoods at their heart and will help us reach our target of 1 million new homes this Parliament.”
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