Councillor comes out in support of eco log cabins - previously refused- near to where Mayor Palmer building his ‘exemplar’ home

Robert Negus wants to build two eco log cabins similar to this and Cllr Ian Bovingdon believes he sh

Robert Negus wants to build two eco log cabins similar to this and Cllr Ian Bovingdon believes he should be allowed to build them. - Credit: Archant

Estate agent and district councillor Ian Bovingdon has called for permission to be given to a man who wants to build two eco log cabins near to where Mayor James Palmer is building his new ‘exemplar’ home.

Cllr Bovingdon said a second application (the first failed) by Robert Negus to build the cabins on land opposite 139 The Butts, Soham, should be supported.

“I have no objection to this application,” says Cllr Bovingdon.

“We gave permission for another dwelling further down the lane, so I feel that it is in a sustainable location.”

Cllr Bovingdon, in a letter to East Cambs planners, adds that he would, however, “welcome strict control that the dwellings do meet our definition of ‘eco’ – if we have one?”

Earlier this year Mr Negus was told by East Cambridgeshire District Council that there were far more sustainable sites around that were better served by public transport to avoid people using their car.

The council was also critical of the fact that no noise assessment had been produced by Mr Negus. Council officials said they had asked for a noise assessment but one had not been forthcoming.

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The council is concerned to address any likely impact of the cabins being built so near to a rail way line and what affect that might have on occupiers.

Planning manager Rebecca Saunt said the application also failed to meet any of the special circumstances that might have made it an exception to policies.

Soham Town Council looked over the original application and added their objection, arguing that Mr Negus had not provided sufficient information regarding access.

“It is not clear what the cabins will be used for,” they added.

In his re-submission Mr Negus is hopeful that the issue of sustainability has been dealt with following approval of Mayor Palmer’s nearby house.

One planning officer had noted that although the mayor’s house is a third of a mile outside the development boundary of Soham - it is not well connected to facilities or services and is reliant on cars to access it – she felt it would make a “positive contribution” to the economy through construction work. Its ‘exemplar’ design helped win it consent.

Mr Negus had been knocked back by planners on the grounds that his proposals failed to “promote sustainable development”.

With regard to noise issues he’s now submitted a chart showing the only additional noises coming from his part of Soham were “on a normal windy day” “cutting corn and a windy day” and three days when it rained. He also noted the most noise was recorded when a helicopter flew overheard.

Originally planners said he had not demonstrated that future occupiers of the cabins would not be adversely affected by noise from the adjacent railway line.