‘No demand for self-build’ claims councillor as East Cambridgeshire District Council planning committee rejects six homes for hamlet of Aldreth

Proposed six of six homes at Aldreth in east Cambridgeshire. The application for self-build homes on

Proposed six of six homes at Aldreth in east Cambridgeshire. The application for self-build homes on the site has been narrowly rejected by the district council planning committee. Picture; CHEFFINS - Credit: Archant

An East Cambridgeshire hamlet will not be getting an extra six self-build homes after a narrow vote by the district council planning committee.

Despite the proposals by P J Lees & Sons being recommended for approval, the planning committee of East Cambridgeshire District Council voted 5-4 to refuse permission.

Tied in with the application was a legal contract that would have ensured cessation of a cooling and ventiliation plant at De Freville Farm potato store.

The houses were proposed fto the rear of 6 to 12 High Street and access was planned to the west of the sire from Tinkers Lane.

But local councillor Steve Cheetham called it before the planning committee for fear of what he described as implications on residential amenity, village character, site acess and highways.

He also queried the need for self-build plots within the district.

“£Development of this depth is not a defining characteristic of Aldreth and this proposal will result in the loss of an area of open agricultural land to the rear of existing dwellings,” he said in a statement to the committee.

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He also reminded the committee that a similar application for housing at this site site had been refused in 2017.

Another ward councillor Mark Hugo said the idea of self-build plots could result in a “hotch potch of styles and a prolonged build time and ongoing stress, noise and inconvenience for existing residents.”

Cllr Hugo, in his statement to the committee, added: “Also I consider this a cynical ploy by the applicant to avoid the need to pay CIL to aid the village infrastructure.

“In addition the self build list held by the council have only seven entries for the whole district and therefore shows no need for this extra number of self builds in one place.

“In addition there is no evidence that anyone already on the list has indicated they wish to live in Aldreth which surely there needs to be for any self build permissions?”

Officers made the point that when the previous application was refuysed the council held a five year supply of housing land – it now doesn’t.

“In light of this, all planning applications for housing within the district should now be considered on the basis of the presumption in favour of development unless the adverse impacts significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefit,” said an officers’ report.