A decision on whether over 80 new homes can be built on the edge of a village has been delayed over concerns people might have to ‘risk their lives’ crossing the road.

Councillors at East Cambridgeshire District Council shared their fears that people living in the proposed development off Cambridge Road in Stretham would have to walk across the A10 to access the village school and shops.

One councillor said people crossing that road would be ‘taking their life in their hands’.

The plans to build 83 homes on the edge of Stretham were put forward by Long Term Land Limited.

The developer proposed to build a mix of houses and flats and said all of the new homes would be made available as affordable housing.

Two other planning applications were previously given permission to develop the land. The first application to build 19 homes was given permission after a successful appeal to the planning inspectorate.

The second application to build 38 homes was approved by the district council in November last year.

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At a planning committee meeting this week (April 3) Laura O’Brian, a representative of the developer, said the latest proposals would help to meet the “clear and significant” affordable housing need in the area.

She explained that a mixture of tenures were proposed, including 42 rented homes, 16 shared ownership homes, and 25 rent-to-buy homes.

Ms O’Brian said this mix had been decided on in consultation with the district council’s housing officers about what types of homes were needed in the area.

She added that the homes would be built to be “highly efficient”, which she said would help lower the energy bills of people living there in the future.

The development received 70 comments in support from people in the area, with many saying they were supportive of the development due to the high amount of affordable housing.

However, Stretham Parish Council had objected to the plans arguing there was “inadequate provision of highway and pedestrian safety issues”.

Councillors on the district council planning committee said they shared these concerns.

The plans proposed to create an island in the middle of the A10 for people to use when crossing, but councillors said they did not think this would be enough to make it safe for people to cross.

Councillor Julia Huffer said she was worried about how people from the new development would be able to cross the A10 to access the school and shops in the village.

She said people would “have to take their life in their hands to get to school” by crossing the road.

Councillor Christine Whelan said she also had concerns about the safety of pedestrians needing to cross the road.

She said drivers often drove over the speed limit along that stretch of the road adding that it was “dangerous” and that there would be a “major traffic collision”

Councillor Bill Hunt said he could not “expose” the people who could end up living in the new development to the “danger of crossing that road”.

Planning officers highlighted that the highways team at Cambridgeshire County Council had not raised any road safety concerns about the development.

They said it would not be recommended to refuse the application on highways safety grounds without evidence to back up those concerns.

The committee unanimously agreed to defer making a decision on the plans in order to commission their own independent traffic safety assessment.