Controversial Witchford housing plans will go before committee

10:16 14 April 2014

How the proposed Witchford development could look

How the proposed Witchford development could look

Archant

The fate of a developer’s plans for 128 homes in Witchford will be determined by the district council’s planning committee.

Witchford councillor Pauline Wilson has labelled the plans as “ridiculous” and said she had no choice but to refer it to a meeting of the committee.

Planning applications are normally dealt with by East Cambridgeshire District Council planning officers but they can be referred to a meeting of the committee at the request of a councillor.

Cheshire-based Gladman Developments has applied for permission to build 128 homes north of Field End.

Cllr Wilson said: “I have called in this planning application to the planning committee because these houses would be outside the village envelope and should be refused.

“Witchford village has one small shop which is a post pffice, there is no doctor’s surgery and the school and college are full to capacity.

“The exit is out onto the road leading up to the junction of the A142, an already very busy road which cannot cope with more traffic travelling along it.

“There have been numerous accidents along the A142, due to the sheer volume and speed that vehicles are travelling at.

“Villages can cope with a few extra houses, perhaps 10 to 20, but 128 houses is ridiculous as we do not have the infrastructure for such a large housing development.”

And Cllr Wilson’s views have been echoed by neighbours of the site.

Mark Higginson told the council: “This has been an opportunistic application made by a company that is driven purely by the chance of quick buck.

“The next 20 years will see catastrophic levels of house building in Cambridgeshire that will have a devastating effect on the county’s infrastructure and citizens’ quality of life.”

And Geoff Meads added: “This is a clearly oversized development and we have deep concerns as to the effects that it will have on traffic levels, particularly on the A142/Common Road junction.”

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