The Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 is the plan for future sustainable development in the district (known as the development plan).  The Local Plan performs two specific roles:

  • it identifies key areas of land for development (known as allocations) to deliver the homes, jobs and services needed in the district,
  • and includes policies against which all planning applications are considered.

Therefore when searching to buy a plot of land it is advisable to refer to Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 [PDF] to see if the site you have found could be considered suitable for development.

The following policies taken from Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 are intended to provide a general guide to where development may be considered suitable. However, this is not a guarantee that planning permission will be granted. Each application will be assessed on a site by site basis taking all relevant legislation and policy into account. The Local Plan should be read as a whole to ensure the best outcome.
  • LP5 Flood Risk (pages 44 to 47): This policy ensures that the users and residents of developments are not put at unnecessary risk in relation to flooding. Sites should preferably be located in flood zone 1; sites within flood zones 2 and 3 should be avoided, unless the proposal can clearly demonstrate that the location specific benefits of the scheme outweigh the impacts of flood risk to the site. Further detail on how flood risk is assessed and what would be required through a planning application can be found in this policy. To find out the flood risk for a plot of land you can consult the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning.
  • LP7 Spatial Planning Areas (pages 55 to 58): There are four Spatial Planning Areas in the district; Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and Ramsey. Residential developments in these areas will be supported where they are appropriately located within the built-up area* of a settlement.
  • LP8 Key Service Centres (pages 58 to 60): Proposals for development will be supported where it is located within the built-up area of a Key Service Centre. A proposal for development on land well-related to the built-up area may be supported, but the planning application would have to demonstrate that it also complies with the specific opportunities allowed for through other policies of the local plan including, but not limited to LP 10 'The Countryside' and LP 28 'Rural Exceptions Housing’.
  • LP 9 Small Settlements (pages 59 to 62): Proposals for development will be supported where it is located within the built-up area of a small settlement provided that the amount and location of development proposed is sustainable in relation issues such as level of service and infrastructure provision, access to everyday services and facilities by sustainable modes of travel and the effect it may have on the character of the immediate locality and the settlement as a whole. A proposal on land well-related to the built-up area may be supported, but the planning application would have to demonstrate that it also complies with the specific opportunities allowed for through other policies of the local plan including, but not limited to LP 10 'The Countryside' and LP 28 'Rural Exceptions Housing’.
  • LP10 The Countryside (pages 62 to 63): Development in the countryside is restricted to specific circumstances which are outlined in more detail within the Local Plan, including but not limited to LP 20 'Homes for Rural Workers' (policy LP20) and 'Rural Exceptions Housing' (policy LP28).All development in the countryside must seek to avoid the use of land of higher agricultural value (Grades 1 to 3a). Furthermore, it must recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and not give rise to noise, odour, obtrusive light or other impacts that would adversely affect the use and enjoyment of the countryside by others. It is advisable to avoid all Grade 1 land, and land up to 3a where possible.
  • In order to promote custom and self-build housing the Council has also included two policies in the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 to assist in meeting the needs of people on the register and to encourage developers and landowners to provide land for custom and self-build homes, these policies are:
    • Policy ‘LP 25 Housing Mix’ (Pages 98 to 100) and
    • Policy ‘LP 28 Rural Exceptions Housing’ (Pages 105 to 107)

*Built-up area definition and implementation guide (p. 53 to 55): A built up area is considered to be a distinct group of buildings that includes 30 or more homes. Land which relates more to the group of buildings rather than to the surrounding countryside is also considered to form part of the built-up area. Pages 53 to 55 of Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan demonstrate how the built-up area is defined in more detail.

Important Note: Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 should be read as a whole and conjunction with other relevant national and local planning policies and the development plan for Huntingdonshire. Cross references between policies within the plan are not exhaustive; applicants should satisfy themselves that they have identified the policies which are relevant to their proposal for development. The development plan for Huntingdonshire comprises: Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 [PDF]; The separate Policies Map [PDF], which shows the extent of land that is affected by all policies of the Local Plan that are specific to a particular piece of land; All 'Made' neighbourhood plans within the district (currently for St Neots [PDF], Godmanchester [PDF], Houghton and Wyton [PDF], and Huntingdon [PDF]); and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste plans.

Made Neighbourhood Plans are an important part of the development plan for Huntingdonshire and include additional planning policies with regard to the suitability and requirements of development, some of which will also include or make reference to self and custom build properties.

Last edited March 2021