East Cambs councillors go against officer advice and agree to 81 park homes being developed on former touring caravan site at Burwell
PUBLISHED: 14:44 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:44 19 December 2016
A 12 acre touring caravan park at Burwell has been acquired by Turners Britannia Parks Ltd – owned by Paul and Winifred Day- and is to become a permanent base for 81 mobile homes.
East Cambridgeshire District Council planners wanted the application refused for a site they deemed “too remote” and in an unsustainable location with insufficient drainage to cope with the number of units proposed.
However when the application came before December’s planning committee, councillors agreed to approve it, with the chairman Joshua Schumann describing it as “quite an exciting application”.
Cllr Schumann said it was a prime example of the need to look at new ways of developing properties since bungalows were not being delivered by developers.
Senior planning officer Barbara Greengrass said late information had been received from the developers reducing to 81 the number of homes proposed and she hoped at least the application could be deferred to “finalise the reasons for refusal”.
No objections were received from the parish council but seven residents argued the access is single track and could not accommodate the amount of traffic likely. They also suggested it was too large and would, effectively, create a ‘village’ the size of Reach.
“The peacefulness would be destroyed,” said one.
Councillors heard from Rebecca Peachey on behalf of the applicants who said it was no longer viable for touring caravans: occupancy level from March to September was just four per cent.
Councillor Tom Hunt noted the restriction of occupants (no under 45s) and said there would be no pressure on schools but would be on health and social services. He wanted the application to be refused for being “massively unsustainable”.
Councillor Mike Rouse said he had visited the site and admitted it needed a substantial makeover but had huge potential. He felt the site could provide desperately needed housing and he supported the application.
Councillor Bill Hunt felt the negatives carried slightly more weight; there would be no pavements on site, people would be driving down unadopted roads and the extra demands on social and adult care would be unacceptable.
But Councillor Ian Bovingdon thought it was an “innovative” use for the site: councillors voted 6 for and 3 against in favour of the application.