Planning Policy

The Development Plan

The development plan is at the heart of the planning system, with a requirement set in law that planning decisions must be taken in line with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The development plan set out a vision and a framework for the future development of an area, addressing needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure – as well as a basis for conserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and achieving well designed places.

The current adopted development plan for East Cambridgeshire comprises:

  • The East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 (as amended 2023)
  • Made Neighbourhood Plans for Fordham, Sutton, Witchford, Haddenham & Aldreth, Isleham and Swaffham Bulbeck
  • The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2021

Further details on each are set out below.

East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 (as amended 2023)

The adopted East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 (as amended 2023) sets out the vision, objectives, spatial strategy and policies for the future development of the district to 2031.  To download the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015, Policies Map and supporting evidence, visit the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 page. 

Parish Based Neighbourhood Plans 

Neighbourhood Planning is an option for parish councils to decide the future of the places where they live by preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, or potentially a Neighbourhood Development Order or Community Right to Build Order. East Cambridgeshire District Council will actively support any parish council interested in neighbourhood planning. 

So far, thirteen parish councils in East Cambridgeshire have either completed a neighbourhood plan for their parish or made some progress towards one. To find out more, visit the Neighbourhood Planning page.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan was jointly prepared and adopted by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council in July 2021.

The Minerals and Waste Local Plan sets the framework for all minerals and waste developments until 2036. It sets out policies to guide mineral and waste management development and aims to:

  • ensure a steady supply of minerals (construction materials e.g. sand and gravel) to supply the growth that is planned for the area; and
  • enable new modern waste management facilities, to manage waste in a much better way than landfill.

More information can be found on the County Council's Minerals and Waste Plan (external link) website.

The Policies Map

The policies map illustrates geographically the policies in the Development Plan as a whole. It is updated as and when an element of the development plan as described above is updated.

Supplementary Planning Documents 

The Development Plan is supported by Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) that add further detail to Local Plan policies. SPDs build upon and provide more detailed advice or guidance on policies in an adopted local plan. An SPD is not, however, part of the Development Plan, and their policies carry less weight when making decisions on planning applications. To find out more, visit the Supplementary Planning Documents page. 

Statement of Community Involvement 

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) explains how the Council involves communities, individuals and other key stakeholders in plan-making and planning decisions.  To download the latest SCI, visit the Statement of Community Involvement page. 


The Council monitors the performance of its planning policies to ensure they are effective.  To download monitoring documents including the Authority's Monitoring Report, Housing Land Supply Statement and Local Development Scheme, visit the Monitoring and Local Development Scheme page. 

Brownfield Land Register 

The Council has prepared a register of brownfield sites considered suitable for housing development. To view and download the register, please visit the Brownfield Land Register page. 

Document Library 

The Document Library provides studies and evidence documents which contain useful information for applicants and decision-makers. 

Contact Us 

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the Strategic Planning team: 

Tel: 01353 665555 


Or write to: Strategic Planning, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE

Register for updates

If you would like to be kept up to date with the preparation of a future Local Plan you can register your contact details with us.  Please note that the information you provide will be used specifically for Local Plan consultation processes and will be processed in accordance with the Council's privacy policy