On the TV last night I watched an interview of Heidi Allen, the new MP for South Cambridgeshire. She was asked what her priorities were in her new role and top of her list was tackling the housing affordability crisis in the Cambridge area.
This morning, I read that the Inspectors conducting the Cambridge and South Cambs Local Plan EIP have written to the Councils with their preliminary conclusions - asking for more work to be done. Attention is drawn to the criticisms made of the green belt review which the Councils had undertaken - although the Inspectors fall short of drawing conclusions, they do have "significant concerns regarding the robustness of the SEA/SA process". The Inspectors stress that it should not be concluded that further green belt releases are necessary, but many will make the assumption that there is here a clear pointer to the need to look again at whether more land can be found in sustainable locations on the urban edge even in the green belt.
The assessment of housing need is also questioned - with concern being expressed as to whether full account has been taken of housing market signals in relation to affordability. The Councils have been asked to consider the likely outcomes on affordability of increasing the housing figures.