Article in the June 2019 Gamlingay Gazette

The following article appeared in the June 2019 edition of the Gamlingay Gazette:

Gamlingay Village Design Guide and Gamlingay’s Neighbourhood Plan

 You may have heard or seen the consultation regarding Gamlingay’s Village Design Guide during April & May? This was run by South Cambridgeshire District Council and Gamlingay is one of eight communities selected to have this guide produced, as part of a pilot funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The consultation on the draft guide will run until the end of May and then the final guide will be taken to South Cambs District Council for approval in the next few months.

 So what is a Village Design Guide?

 It is a ‘Supplementary Planning Document’ or SPD which provides further detail to the planning policies in the Local Plan for an area. In other words, it adds specific, local detail that can’t be in the Local Plan for South Cambs. It gives us, as a local community, more of a say on what new development (be it housing, facilities or business) looks like. In this case, Gamlingay’s Village Design Guide describes the distinctive character of the village and sets out guidelines for how this should be enhanced by new developments. A group of residents, alongside the Parish Council, has been involved with The Citizens Design Bureau to produce the guide, which means that it is focused on the priorities for our whole parish.

 Community priorities identified in the guide include: preserving the landscape setting of Gamlingay with its distinctive pattern of satellite hamlets; ensuring new development complements existing village character & types of buildings; and, creating safe pedestrian & cycle routes & connections. The draft guide and more info on the consultation by South Cambs District Council, can be viewed here:

 The Village Design Guide will also be a key supporting document for Gamlingay’s Neighbourhood Plan. Our Neighbourhood Plan will be incorporating all the priorities identified in the Guide and will add further ‘weight’ in planning terms as the Plan will have planning policies that all new developments will have to adhere to. We’re aiming for Gamlingay’s Neighbourhood Plan to be out for consultation over the summer this year (2019) so please keep an out for it as a summary will be sent to every residential and business property. Do take a look at our website too: and for more details, you can contact or 01767 650310.

 Gamlingay Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

The Neighbourhood Plan – what is happening?

Here is an update on the Neighbourhood Plan for Gamlingay as we’ll soon be sharing the draft plan with you for final consultation.

[this text formed an article in the Gamlingay Gazette]

A Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work – it means we can influence where new developments should be built, what they should look like, as well as ensuring we can protect important local green spaces.

It seems a while ago – but the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been beavering away looking at the results of the village-wide survey, which was sent to all residents in late 2016. We have gathered some more background information from the Housing Needs survey, sent out to all villagers in late 2017 and have been waiting for the Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire to be finally adopted (Sept 2018). A lot of work has been undertaken, including consulting the village business community about how they see their role and what they would like to improve business opportunities within the village.

We have also met with landowners who are keen to bring forward their land for development. In addition, we have reviewed South Cambs District Council’s formal assessment of sites, which is known as the SHLAA assessment (2012). We have undertaken hamlet surveys in 2017 and 2018 and gathered detailed environmental data of the parish. We have more recently begun work on a Village Design Statement in partnership with the District Council. This project is being run as a separate group, by Community Champion Harriet Gould. Finally, we have also commissioned a Cycleway Improvement Plan with SUSTRANS (funded by the Parish Council).

We have collated all the facts and figures, taking your comments on board, and have created a shared vision for Gamlingay, along with a set of draft policies which we hope capture the needs of Gamlingay community for the next 20 years. The positive benefits our Neighbourhood Plan should bring are:
• More resources allocated from the Community Infrastructure Levy to be spent improving services and facilities within Gamlingay Parish. The added weight the policies will have in influencing planning decisions will enable a more local voice to be heard with regards to strategic decision-making.
• Better design of properties and business premises to meet the needs of Gamlingay residents.
• Improvements in local transport infrastructure, such as pathways, footpaths, bridleways and cycleways.
• Protection of our natural environment, and its special characteristics, views and vistas and valued open spaces.

The next step is to share this document with you and get your feedback to check whether we have got this right. The draft plan will ask you specific questions about each of the policy areas – to understand your views.

The draft plan will then go through some formal checking processes with the Local Planning Authority (South Cambs District Council) and will therefore be subject to further minor changes. All residents will then be able to vote on the final Neighbourhood Plan – called the Referendum Stage – which should happen in late 2019.

We’ll be asking for your opinion soon, so please look out for the draft plan through your letterbox

Interested in more information?

Please contact Kirstin Rayner, Neighbourhood Plan secretary: (01767) 650310 or clerk @,