EXCLUSIVE: Planning Inspectorate backs developer in row with council

Hod Hall Lane, Haddenham

Hod Hall Lane, Haddenham - Credit: Archant

A LONG-running battle over a traveller’s site in Haddenham has finally been settled, with the Planning Inspectorate ruling against the district council.

A former builder’s yard on Hod Hall Lane has been at the centre of a row between residents and developers for almost five years, with planning applications thrown out on three occasions.

Developer Mr M Ruszkiewicz applied to East Cambridgeshire District to turn the land into three traveller pitches and offices for his family but was turned down for the third time in March 2012 because council planners said there were would be too many pitches on the site.

When plans were submitted in March, the district council received more than 40 letters of objection from Haddenham residents, with the parish council and district councillors also raising serious concerns about access, drainage and flooding.

SE Cambs MP James Paice also waded into the row, saying that the land suffered from drainage problems and was not suitable.

Unhappy, Mr Ruszkiewicz appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and found out this week that the district council’s decision had been overturned.

In his report, Bern Hellier, said: “There is local concern that the site would be too close to the village. However, it is some 100 metres away from Lode Way and over 50 metres away from the nearest dwelling.

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“These separation distances would be sufficient to protect existing properties from any overlooking or noise and disturbance.

“The existing foul sewer in Lode Way surcharges after heavy rain into the road and into the gardens of properties. A connection from the appeal site would be unlikely to exacerbate this problem.

“Any alternative drainage arrangement would be a building regulations matter but there is no reason in principle why a satisfactory scheme could not be achieved.”