Clash over Pratt Street or Brewhouse Lane access to Soham Eastern Gateway that will deliver up to 553 homes

Soham Eastern Gateway outline of site

Soham Eastern Gateway outline of site - Credit: Archant

Developers clashed with East Cambs Council over likely access routes to the Soham Eastern Gateway that is set to deliver 553 homes.

Latest correspondence on the Gateway between agents Carter Jonan and council planners reveal differences over whether Brewhouse Lane is still on the table as a possible access.

Richard Seamark of Carter Jonas wrote to the council on July 19 pointing out that as part of the application they were not seeking detailed approval for any means of access into the town.

“Instead this will need to be approved at the later ‘reserved matters application’ stage which is likely to be subject to public consultation prior to submission of an application” he wrote.

He said Pratt Street or Brewhouse Lane or a combination of both might be considered.

He said a public consultation last December had thrown up objections to Pratt Street mainly from those worried about children walking to school.

To take account of these concerns, Carter Jonas had looked at an alternative access option on Brewhouse Lane.

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Mr Seamark said they were not “committing to or seeking detailed approval” of any town access option at this stage.

However a day later Barbara Greengrass, senior planning officer, wrote back to tell him “what you have said is incorrect. You cannot seek permission in principle for an access to either Pratt Street or Brewhouse Lane.

“You either do or do not have this additional access considered as part of the current proposal.”

She warned him: “It cannot be added at reserved matters stage. As this is an outline application with means of access being considered, I will require details of all the access points required as this cannot then be added on at reserved matters stage. “

She said Carter Jonas needed to provide full details or withdraw reference altogether to a separate access point.

In his response the following day Mr Seamark said that whilst he disagreed with the comment on ‘correctness’ his firm was concerned that the issue would start to have a bearing “on the timeliness and clarity of decision making for the wider application.”

He wrote that “in view of all the comments and your guidance I can confirm that we will agree to specific that vehicular access will be only via Pratt Street. We would however like to continue with the proposal for pedestrian/cycle access via Brewhouse Lane”.

Mr Seamark noted that “I suspect this will possibly lead to further opposition with stakeholders concerned about the Pratt Street access.”