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INVEST IN SUCCESS SAY MINISTERS

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How to invest for economic success in Cambridgeshire is the subject of a new report. ...
How to invest for economic success in Cambridgeshire is the subject of a new report.

The Cambridge Implementation Study calls for a£2bn investment in transport, housing and social infrastructure to boost the economic prospects of the region.

And it warns that without radical changes to the planning system a high level of development and growth will fail.

Planning minister Sally Keeble said:

'This helpful and thought-provoking report sets out clearly how Cambridge can continue to thrive economically without compromising its high quality of life.

'Local authorities need to work together with the private sector to deliver the infrastructure needed. Government also has an important part to play. We will examine the report and consider its ideas closely in parallel with the Planning Green Paper.'

Lord Sainsbury, minister for science and innovation, said:

'Cambridge is a national asset and we want to see it fulfil its economic potential. This study sets out what must be done to support the continued growth of the clusters of high tech businesses in the region.'

Notes

1. The Cambridge Implementation Study was commissioned by Cambridgeshire CC, the East of England Development Agency and the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, to give guidance on how the higher level of growth required through Regional Planning Guidance can be delivered.

2. The six month long study was undertaken by Roger Tym and Partners in association with WS Atkins Limited. The study addressed: concerns about the time to get proposals through the planning system; delays before implementation; the effective co-operation between the private and public sectors to provide the full range of infrastructure investment needed to provide a high quality of life - the schools, affordable housing, country parks, public transport systems and the rest that will be needed.

3. The Study addresses how development can be achieved quickly and with the full range of facilities. It:

informs the development options for the Cambridgeshire Structure Plan;

identifies the constraints to effective implementation to an efficient time-scale;

provides guidance on how the constraints can be overcome (including by more co-ordinated working by the local authorities and other agencies);

illustrates how private sector funding sources can be made to drive implementation; and

provides a model for implementation through the development plan system and public- private partnership for other areas of planned development.

4. The Study recommends:

fast-tracking the development plan - a Structure Plan which is as specific as possible about the new settlement location, and local plans taken forward in parallel through an improved public inquiry process;

a new approach to Section 106 agreements to support infrastructure requirements of development over a wider area than an individual site;

the closest possible public-private funding partnerships, including PFI projects; and

a special delivery body on the lines of an Urban Regeneration Company, but focused on a growth area.

5. In their response the Cambridgeshire local authorities together with EEDA, key Cambridge business, health and academic groups have stated that they share a responsibility to make the further expansion of the Cambridge sub-region happen.

6. The response asks for:

direct involvement and commitment at ministerial level in ensuring that government policy, as expressed through Regional Planning Guidance, is implemented.

Changes to Section 106 contributions so that they can be used to support the infrastructure needs of the sub-region.

Government contributions to address the infrastructure deficit of the sub-region.

7. The full report and an executive summary are available from:

Bob Pearson

Head of Cambridgeshire CC Press Office

Tel: 01223 717670

e-mail: bob.pearson@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

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