“It pushes people out of the village...” - Concerns raised at lack of affordable homes for Little Downham development

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:39 15 June 2020

Site North of the Rectory in Little Downham where Ely Diocese has submitted plans for five homes to be created. Image: Heritage and Design Concept Statement for The Rectory, Little Downham

Site North of the Rectory in Little Downham where Ely Diocese has submitted plans for five homes to be created. Image: Heritage and Design Concept Statement for The Rectory, Little Downham

Heritage and Design Concept Statement for The Rectory, Little Downham

Residents of an East Cambridgeshire village have voiced their concerns at plans to create five new homes behind a rectory.

Diocese of Ely has submitted proposals to redevelop two barns and build the three and four-bedroom properties on land north of The Rectory in Main Street, in Little Downham.

But villagers have expressed concerns that the development doesn’t consist of affordable homes and it’s more likely to attract buyers who commute to work in London or Cambridge.

One resident, of Kiln Close, who has submitted their objection to East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Any houses being built in the village should be affordable to the village people.

“There are too many being built already with a high price on them.

“It pushes people out of the village and we lose our community feel”.

Other residents have shared similar views on the ‘Little Downham Notice Board’ on Facebook.

The application is being discussed at Little Downham’s next parish council meeting on Wednesday (June 17).

A Design and Access statement submitted alongside the plans explains two existing barns will be linked to form a “single courtyard inspired dwelling”.

It said: “Plot 1 has been designed to respect the proportions and scale of the existing barns which are seen as part of the historic fabric of the village.”

Two more three-bedroom homes and two four-bedroom homes all with garage facilities are also planned for the site.

Part of the development sits within the boundary of the village’s Conservation Area.

The report continued: “The proposed scheme has been designed to enhance the Little Downham Conservation Area by respecting the existing dwellings adjoining the site in terms of location, scale and materials.

“Although only the front of the site including the two barns incorporated into plot one are within the curtilage of the Conservation Area the whole scheme has been designed to a high standard to reflect the importance of the site.”

The application states traditional materials will be used for the build and the homes will be run efficiently “within a minimum carbon footprint”.


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