Homes plans delayed again by councillors

PLANS for 96 new homes on former allotment land in Soham were held up once again this week as concerns over landscaping continued.

At a key meeting of East Cambs District Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday, councillors opted to defer the plans for another month while applicant Hopkins Homes continues to alter the designs.

A spokesman for the authority said that councillors opted to defer their decision because of concerns regarding some aspects of the layout, which is to be sited near to existing homes on Fordham Road, the second time the plans have been deferred.

Neighbours of the development sent dozens of letters to planning officials ahead of the meeting but, despite the concerns, officers recommended the plans for approval.

In consultation with planning officers, county councillor John Powley said: “My house overlooks the site and I expected it to be developed for housing when we bought it in 1991.

“My concern is the access to the site from Fordham Road, which has many junctions already. Traffic calming was introduced as a result of accidents on that road and I am concerned that the junction should be designed taking account of existing and proposed traffic.”

Fordham Road resident Jill Bailey expressed concern at the plans.

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She said: “Fordham Road is a narrow road, busy now during ‘rush hour’ times, and the extra traffic from residents on the proposed new development will make it much worse.”

Brook Street resident Susan Hurrell said: “I still agree in principle with the development but I am still extremely concerned with the proposed siting of the properties.”

A separate application for another 86 homes on an adjoining patch of land, submitted by Mrs A Clarke and Mr A Cutchey, was granted approval for demolition of a garage in Fordham Road to make way for new access roads into the proposed development.