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Hanley Grange, South Cambridgeshire Hanley Grange, South Cambridgeshire

Hanley Grange, South Cambridgeshire

We have an in-depth knowledge of the Hanley Grange site, having undertaken a number of environmental studies on the site over several years. In 2008 we undertook the environmental appraisals of the site and “shadowed” the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) then being undertaken for the Eco-towns. This included desk and site assessment of the Hanley Grange site and the other proposed Eco-towns.

In 2012 we carried out an audit and independent assessment of the sites put forward by South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) for new settlements within the District. This involves a comparison of the Hanley Grange Site, and three sites put forward by SCDC within their Local Plan Issues and Options Report.

This included analysis of the three tiers of assessment in the SHLAA for each site. In addition the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) for the Local Plan was audited; this overall aim was to establish the validity of the assertions made within both the SHLAA and the SA.

The Audit Report concluded that the SA was not fit for purpose, i.e. not a ‘sound’ base for local plan purposes. This was due to several issues which included; the Government SA Guidelines, having not been followed for the SCDC Local Plan SA. Additionally, the SA process is evidence based; however, the SHLAA had been the source of information, which was provided to be insufficient and somewhat biased in several areas thus resulting in the evidence base being deemed invalid. Finally, the way in which evidence was interpreted presented a negative interpretation of the Hanley Grange site, with negative points being downplayed for the other sites.