A LONG-running battle over plans to build 24 new affordable homes on farmland in Haddenham has been resolved after councillors refused planning permission, going against advice from officials.

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Dozens of Haddenham residents who live next to the farmland in Northumbria Close where the homes are planned reacted angrily to the development and petitioned East Cambridgeshire District Council but officers dismissed their concerns.

In her report to councillors on the planning committee, held last Wednesday, however, case officer Penelope Mills said: “It is considered that the scale, layout and design of the development is such that it could be accommodated without significant adverse effect on the character and setting of the settlement, and any visual impact would be further reduced by the proposed soft landscaping.

“It is acknowledged that accessibility from the site on foot and by cycle is not

particularly good. However, the highways officer does not view the current situation

as being exceptionally bad.”

Despite recommending the plans for approval, however, councillors went against her advice and voted to turn down the plans.

Sanctuary Housing was behind the scheme, with 19 houses, two flats and three bungalows planned on the 1.6 acres of land.

Developers told the council that there was a “clear need” for new low cost and affordable housing in the village and said their scheme provided a good mix of rentable and shared-ownership properties.

Neighbours of the site disagreed however, and bombarded the district council with letters objection.

Ian Dickerson told the council: “We are all for affordable housing being available for the young people of the village but think 10 dwellings in that particular area would be a much more reasonable amount.”

Chris McFarlane added: “These new dwellings will add additional danger to road users and pedestrians alike as the area concerned regularly has close encounters, with vehicles screeching to a halt to avoid collisions with wildlife.”

Haddenham Parish Council also added its voice to the debate, telling planners that is objected to the “density, size and number of dwellings” on the proposed site.

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