Policy H/GL: Garden land and subdivision of existing plots

DRAFT version for various committee meetings.

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What will this policy do?

This policy will set out criteria to determine when it will be acceptable for garden land and existing residential plots to be developed for new housing.

Proposed policy direction

The policy will continue the approach of the adopted Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plans by resisting inappropriate development of residential gardens and the subdivision of existing plots. This will be done by reference to a range of factors including potential harm to local character, adequacy of remaining amenity space, trees, heritage and biodiversity. The policy will also seek to stop development that would compromise the potential of other land to be brought forward for development.

Why is this policy needed?

Gardens are an important environmental resource, they can make a major contribution to local character and they can mitigate fluvial and surface water flooding. However, they can also provide scope for new residential development without the loss of countryside. This can be a particular advantage in rural communities where residential development opportunities can be constrained. This policy will ensure that only suitable and appropriate developments take place on such land.

What consultation have we done on this issue?

Responses to the First Consultation showed support for controlling the use of gardens, and in particular the paving over of front gardens. Issues mentioned included their biodiversity value, and their potential to help urban cooling.

What alternatives did we consider?

No policy - This approach is not the preferred approach as it would not provide clear guidance on the approach that would be taken to development on garden land and subdivision of existing plots, and could lead to inconsistent outcomes.

Supporting evidence studies and topic papers

  • Greater Cambridge Local Plan: Topic paper 7: Homes

Existing policies in adopted 2018 Local Plans

South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018

  • Policy H/16: Development of Residential Gardens

Cambridge Local Plan 2018

  • Policy 52: Protecting garden land and the subdivision of existing dwelling plots

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