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I am pleased to report that the Reach Neighbourhood Plan was approved by the village at a referendum on 1 February 2024.  Nearly 60% of the electorate voted - an extremely high level of engagement for votes of this kind, elsewhere in the district, neighbourhood plans have been approved on a turnout of less than 20%. In our referendum, two thirds of voters (66%) supported the Plan. 

Our Plan has now been formally adopted by ECDC as part of its district Development Plan. The vote by District Councillors to adopt Reach’s plan was unanimous and it was clear how strongly all shades of political opinion support the neighbourhood planning process. Reach is the seventh community in East Cambridgeshire to have a Neighbourhood Plan adopted. 

Please click on the link to download our Plan, in its adopted form. 

Adoption of the Plan has already brought benefits to our village through enhanced protection of our local green spaces, some of which, such as the Drying Green, were previously entirely unprotected. Even Fair Green is better protected than it was. 

The Plan also delivers a detailed summary of those things that make Reach a special place to live and which residents were very clear they wished to protect. Such things are largely absent from ECDC’s Local Plan but must now be considered in any future planning application.

The Plan also gives the village a firm foundation on which to seek the improvements that many villagers said they wanted, such as improvements to biodiversity, the creation of traffic free routes to Burwell and Swaffham Prior and the removal of the redundant sewage works and restoration of the Hythe. 

The Parish Council has decided to prioritise the Restoration of the Hythe and has set up a working group in preparation for negotiation with Anglian Water which owns the redundant sewage works.  The working group will be holding an open meeting on Monday 8th April to capture in detail what the village wants on the site, accepting that this might evolve as the nature and extent of the land we are working with becomes clearer.

Catherine Gibson  

Chair - Reach Neighbourhood Plan Committee