Devolution and housing in Cambridge and Peterborough

This page summarises the powers of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, particularly in relation to housing, and sets out the latest position as of April 2018.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal was signed in March 2017, legislating for the creation of a combined authority and mayor for the region. The combined authority region covers seven local authority areas (city, county and district councils) and the leaders of each council sit on the combined authority board, along with the Mayor, the Chair of the Fire Authority and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Conservative James Palmer was elected the first Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in May 2017, on a platform to improve the region’s transport infrastructure and tackle its housing crisis. He chairs the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority board.

Alongside powers on housing (see below) the Mayor and combined authority have responsibility for a devolved transport budget, a £600m investment fund over 30 years to boost local economic growth, the 19+ adults skills budget, and the co-design with government of employment support services in the region.

Housing in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Aims: The devolution deal includes the aim of ‘accelerating the delivery of the mix of new homes and sustainable communities that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents demand – delivering 72,000 new homes over the next 15 years, including a number of major new settlements’. The Mayor has made housing one of his priorities and linked it closely to the provision of new transport infrastructure for the region. The combined authority strategy targets 100,000 new homes by 2037. The Mayor is also a strong supporter of Community Land Trusts and sees them as having an important role to play in new housing delivery.

Planning powers: The Mayor has strategic planning powers to support housebuilding, including the power to create a non-statutory spatial framework, supplementary planning documents, and Mayoral Development Corporations with planning and land assembly powers.

The Devolution Deal also included the power to set up a joint investment and assets board to review all public sector land and property, and a land commission to identify available private and public sector land for housing and employment.

The first strategic spatial framework for the region was approved by the combined authority board in March 2018, setting out the ambition to build 100,000 homes by 2037, 60% of which would be on sites of 1000 units or larger.

Funding: The devolution deal allocated £100m to a housing and infrastructure fund to support the delivery of 2000 new affordable homes in the five years from 2017, and an additional £70m specifically to support affordable housing in Cambridge.

Housing associations

Housing associations own and manage about 50,000 homes in the region. One in 13 households lives in a housing association home.

A group of 15 housing associations working in the region known as Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough launched in February 2018 with an ambition to build 40,000 homes over the next 20 years, including 2,000 homes by 2021.

They have come together to provide a single voice for the housing association sector in its engagement with the combined authority and other key stakeholders. They want to work together to significantly increase the supply of affordable housing in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and promote long-term inclusive investment in communities.

In terms of governance, Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has a strategic board and sub-groups focused on investment and communities respectively.

Evera Homes is a joint venture between four housing associations, which aims to deliver more mixed tenure housing and explore new, more efficient ways of working and delivering supply in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area. They plan to build 2000 additional homes over the next five years.

To discuss devolution in Cambridge and Peterborough, please email Sarah Finnegan, External Affairs Manager for the region. 


This page was last updated May 2018.