Politicians from South Cambs have sought urgent clarification from the government following leaked plans to build 250,000 new homes.

The 'Cambridge 2040' proposals were revealed on July 8 in the Sunday Times, and would see the houses built in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire over the next two decades.

The paper described the plans as making Cambridge 'Europe's Silicon Valley'.

Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambs, has written to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) demanding clarity, and issued a public statement outlining his opposition to the proposals.

Mr Browne said: "The government needs to urgently clarify that the Sunday Times story was a leak of a very conceptual discussion about many locations around the country where housing growth could be accelerated and is not in any way a developed or confirmed plan for Cambridge.

"This new pipe dream will not survive its encounter with reality. We are already building more homes than almost anywhere else in the UK, with three new towns being built in South Cambridgeshire alone.

"It is simply not possible to create a rival to Silicon Valley by using Cambridge as a cash cow for housing developers.

"The government must provide clarity, ensure they prioritise the environmental sustainability and infrastructure needs of the region in any such discussion, and do more to sort out our water shortages before dreaming up a scheme that is simply undeliverable."

In his letter, Mr Browne called for the government to work within environmental constraints and make water infrastructure a prerequisite for significant growth - with water scarcity already a significant concern in the region.

Pippa Heylings, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for South Cambs, has also written to Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove to challenge the proposals.

She argued that the government's Levelling Up Bill removes all obligations on developers to ensure GP surgeries, schools and transport links are built before or alongside new homes.

Pippa echoed the view that the proposals would "fail to tackle the water crisis", and added that the plans would allow developers to pollute local rivers as long as the pollution is "offset" elsewhere.

She said: "After years of being taken for granted by this Government, it is time ministers realised the true potential of Cambridgeshire. 


"We are already world leaders in numerous industries and would welcome support from ministers to further that work.

"However housebuilding of this scale - essentially tripling the size of Cambridge - with such disregard for the environment, would be catastrophic.

"The proposals to weaken environmental protections are particularly alarming in a water stressed area such as Cambridgeshire and where our rivers are already suffering from pollution.

"These are absurd and undeliverable plans for a Conservative Government on its way out and in its dying days.

"If the Conservatives really want to support our area in their final few months of power, as I've said before, they need to take action to fix our water supply issues and clean up the sewage dumped in our rivers on their watch."