Councillors look set to approve 126 homes for Soham - six of them self build and 38 classed ‘affordable’

Proposed site of 126 homes in Soham recommended for approval

Proposed site of 126 homes in Soham recommended for approval - Credit: Archant

A 12-acre site on the outskirts of Soham is expected to win approval next week for 120 homes – with an extra six plots set aside for self build.

Hopkins Homes want to build the homes west of the Cherry Tree public house, Cherry Tree Lane, and legal agreements will ensure a cemetery extension, public open spaces, and money for maintaining hedgerows.

Included in the mix will be 38 affordable homes and East Cambs planning committee will hear that of 134 neighbours notified; only six responses were received.

Those objecting fear schools can’t cope, the GP surgeries are a stretching point, Fordham Road has too much traffic already, and there are three other housing sites off Fordham Road already.

However planning officers are comfortable with the scheme, arguing that East Cambs is unable to demonstrate it has an adequate five year supply of land for housing and this would help.

One aspect that planners found encouraging was the proportion of homes that are suitable for adaption for the elderly or those with disabilities. Provision has been made for nine bungalows along the northern boundary.

Councillors will be warned of the dangers of considering refusal of the application.

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“Members do not have to follow an officer recommendation – indeed they can legitimately decide to give a different weight to a material consideration than officers,” says a report.

“However it is often these cases where an appellant submits a claim for costs. The committee therefore needs to consider and document its reasons for going against an officer recommendation very carefully.”