Appeal lodged over Witchford mobile homes plan

PUBLISHED: 12:47 03 August 2012

Witchford Planning Application, Cathedral View

Witchford Planning Application, Cathedral View

Archant

THE owner of a mobile home park in Witchford whose plans for expansion were thrown out by East Cambs District Council has launched an appeal.

Matthew Webb’s plans to expand the Cathedral View Mobile Home Park by up to 16 new homes, increasing the development by up to 50 per cent, were rejected by council planners back in May.

The authority said the development would encroach on the surrounding countryside.

Three months later however, and Mr Webb has applied to the Planning Inspectorate to rule on the plans, with a visit from an inspector and subsequent decision expected in late September.

Ronald Perrin, the agent acting on behalf of Mr Webb, said the extra mobile homes, to add to the 33 already in place, would constitute low-cost affordable housing at a time when house building in the district was stagnant.

He said: “The performance for 2009/10, which admittedly was a difficult year for the economy generally, and house building in particular, shows that fewer dwellings have been coming forward and that the targets for affordable housing have not been achieved.

The park lies on the site of former RAF buildings associated with the old Lancaster Way airfield, which neighbours the site.

Giles Hughes, the council’s head of planning, took a dim view however, saying: “The site lies in the countryside outside the designated settlement boundary for Witchford where residential development is strictly controlled, subject to a number of exceptions, including affordable housing.

“The application provides no information about how the proposed housing is to be provided at a cost below market rates, or to remain at an affordable cost for future households.”

Anyone wishing to comment on the plans has until September 11 to do so. Visit www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk to view the appeal.

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