Houses approved in East Cambridgeshire "rare and peaceful paradise" despite strong objection from residents
Disgruntled residents failed to stop the expansion of one of East Cambridgeshire's smallest villages - despite a petition and widespread protest.
Objectors claimed their “rare and peaceful paradise” would be ruined if the houses were approved for The Hamlet, Chettisham.
But East Cambridgeshire Council passed the application after the planning committee was told it would make a contribution towards bridging a shortfall in the five year supply of homes in the district.
Residents presented a petition signed by 29 people from 19 homes in The Hamlet – the majority of those that live there – opposed to further development.
Only one letter of support was submitted but the committee felt there was no reason to refuse the homes next to Church Farm.
Councillor Bill Hunt believed the site to have the potential to be an excellent development and that this was a “special area and a good design”.
Concerns were raised about the potential increase in traffic, light pollution and services “not being able to cope”.
One resident, who has lived in the area for 27 years, said: “My animals and boys were very safe growing up here and I do not want it broken.
“This rare and peaceful place will be dramatically ruined with more speeding traffic.
“We want to stay in our quiet paradise.”
Another added: “We feel that allowing this will bring more congestion, noise, pollution and disturb important land where we now have buzzards on and barn owls too.”
Joanne Cubbage told the committee that a large group of residents strongly objected and she reminded them a smaller development had been refused a year ago. “Chettisham values its rural nature,” she said.
Agent Michael Hendry on behalf of applicants Jeremy and Katharine Love said: “There would be only a modest increase in traffic.”
He said the scheme would provide a new footpath and the “unique development will maintain the view of the church”.
Eight votes were cast for approval of the outline planning application with one abstention.
Four houses were originally on plans but the applicants agreed to remove one plot nearest to the Grade-II listed St Michael’s Church.
Local planning authorities identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirements.
This total housing requirement equates to a basic five year land supply requirement of 2,591 homes for East Cambs – a target which they are yet to meet.