Orbit Homes lodge appeal after being turned down for 160 homes on Soham site

PUBLISHED: 15:54 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 September 2018

One of the proposed layouts for housing at Soham prepared by Orbit Homes. Their final application has been rejected and they will now appeal refusal by East Cambs Council

One of the proposed layouts for housing at Soham prepared by Orbit Homes. Their final application has been rejected and they will now appeal refusal by East Cambs Council

Archant

Land owned by a consortium of Soham and Ely people – including a local charity – is to be subject to a public inquiry after East Cambs District Council rejected a scheme for 160 homes.

Orbit Homes has decided the time for talking is over and has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate after the Blackberry Lane, Soham, site was decided by a vote of 7 to 2 against their proposals.

Tim Salter of the Planning Inspectorate told East Cambridgeshire Council that the inquiry can be expected to last at three days.

The council accepts the site is zoned for housing but the argument – when it went before councillors – was over density, flood risk, and the visual impact of bunding and landscaping.

The land is shown on the application form as being owned by Bishop Laney’s charity of Witchford, B Ashton of Vineyard Way, Ely, D J Palmer of Brook Street, Soham and C Palmer of the Butts, Soham.

Minutes from the planning committee that debated the application show that Councillor Bill Hunt supported it in principle and wanted modifications: he argued that “to grant approval today would be a panic measure”.

Chairman Cllr Josh Schumann said he had concerns regarding amenity, water logging, parking, a five metre high bund and protected trees.

Councillor Derrick Beckett said he had a number of concerns including tandem parking which would be needed for almost 90 per cent of the site. He too was concerned about draining and wanted a “less dense” proposal back before the committee.

Councillor Mike Rouse regretted that the number of homes had not been reduced as he thought an opportunity had been missed “to create something better”.

At one point – given the council’s lack of a five year supply of land – he felt it should be supported but said after listening to committee members comments he was included to support its refusal.

Councillors were told by their senior planning officer that the greatest concern was night time noise levels during the hotter months when people were more likely to have bedroom windows open.

Before reaching their decision to refuse, the committee was told that detailed negotiation between the developer and the Environment Agency had secured agreement over flood risk.

One in five of the proposed homes will be affordable and up to £160,000 would be provided for upgrading the A142/A1123 Fordham Road.

2 comments

  • Soham seriously does not need or want anymore housing! We have already had hundreds if not 1000s of new homes built. The roads are like a war zone , schools are full, 7 weeks to get a doctors appointment if non-urgent and no extra facilities provided. It is time that the urbanisation of Soham stopped. I am just waiting to see what happens this autumn when we get heavy rain at the bottom of the hill near to the Cherry Tree - the soak away field there has been covered over in concrete and umpteen houses, the Bishop Laney allotments have been completely built plus the Bovis estate. Water has to go somewhere and it's going to go downhill to the Cherry Tree...... and where is the land Orbit want to build on with the consortium of owners ...... at the bottom of the hill - more soakaway land disappears.

    Report this comment

    KB1963

    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

  • Soham seriously does not need or want anymore housing! We have already had hundreds if not 1000s of new homes built. The roads are like a war zone , schools are full, 7 weeks to get a doctors appointment if non-urgent and no extra facilities provided. It is time that the urbanisation of Soham stopped. I am just waiting to see what happens this autumn when we get heavy rain at the bottom of the hill near to the Cherry Tree - the soak away field there has been covered over in concrete and umpteen houses, the Bishop Laney allotments have been completely built plus the Bovis estate. Water has to go somewhere and it's going to go downhill to the Cherry Tree...... and where is the land Orbit want to build on with the consortium of owners ...... at the bottom of the hill - more soakaway land disappears.

    Report this comment

    KB1963

    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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