Homes plan for former bingo hall is withdrawn by developer

The Regal Communitty Centre, littleport

The Regal Communitty Centre, littleport - Credit: Archant

Developers have withdrawn plans to build houses on the site of a former bingo hall and cinema, in Littleport.

Buckingham and Sparrow applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council in September to build four detached four-bedroom houses in Hempfield Road, on the former site of The Regal.

Though Littleport Parish Council and neighbours of the site offered no objections, the conservation officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council, Rebecca Saunt, labelled the plans “quite dated” and “tame”.

She said: “As the site is effectively a blank canvas, it should be viewed as an opportunity to do something really interesting.

“Unfortunately, the proposed design of the dwellings would do little to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the street scene.

“The design appears to be quite dated and, whilst an attempt has been made to use a more contemporary design approach, this has been very tame and does not go far enough.”

Last Tuesday, planning agents acting for the developers asked the district council to withdraw the plans.

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Lat year, Buckingham and Sparrow offered to donate The Regal and its car park to Littleport Parish Council.

The developer offered the building for the community in return for the district council waiving a requirement for it to build affordable homes on a 60-home development it was working on near the Highfields estate.

Every developer who constructs more than three houses in East Cambridgeshire is required to turn 30 per cent of the development over to affordable housing.

But despite support from the parish council and a local campaign, the offer was refused by the district council.