Affordable housing would be “onerous” condition says Ely developer

Croylands Vox Pops & views

Croylands Vox Pops & views - Credit: Archant

CORRESPONDENCE between McCarthy and Stone and estate agents acting on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council reveal that the retirement home developer was prepared to offer £50,000 in place of providing affordable housing.

All developers who build housing in East Cambridgeshire are required to make 30 per cent available as affordable but the developer, which has submitted an application to build 21 ‘later living’ apartments at Croylands, said this would be “onerous”.

Instead, the company said it was prepared to offer up to £50,000 in lieu of providing affordable homes, though it said “any requirement for contributions totalling above £50,000, will be viewed as onerous”.

The correspondence between McCarthy and agents Lambert Smith Hampton was handed to the Ely Standard by concerned residents of Cambridge Road and Houghton Gardens, who fear the development could blight their quality of life.

In it, McCarthy and Stone also says that its proposal “has been carefully designed to incorporate the preserved trees on site and, as such, none should be lost due to the redevelopment of the property.”

However, in its subsequent planning application, submitted almost a year later, the developer said it would be removing 26 trees and cutting back several others, some of which are protected by law.

East Cambridgeshire District Council’s trees officer, Cathy White, said in her report on the impact on the 19th Century building’s trees: “Without a comprehensive tree impact assessment it is not possible to support the current application, on the grounds of the negative impact on existing trees many covered by the Tree Protection Orders.

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“The impact on any trees retain on, or adjacent to the site, will also likely be significantly detrimental as development will take place within three tree root protection areas.”