'Significant burden' claim if 540 homes are agreed

Visual prepared by This Land for Soham Gateway

Visual prepared by This Land for Soham Gateway - Credit: This Land

This Land’s bid to build 540 homes at Soham hit another stumbling block after a neighbouring landowner warned of the  “significant burden” it will place upon him. if the scheme goes ahead. 

Cheffins of Ely has told East Cambridgeshire District Council that they act for the landowner – the Lord of the Manor of Soham, Netherall and Fordham – and is yet to have been officially notified of the planning application.  

Cheffins director Edward Tabner told the council that they act for the Lord of the Manor “who is the freehold owner and commons rights holder for East Fen and Qua Fen Commons, Soham”. 

Mr Tabner says: “It has been brought to my attention that the planning application has been submitted. 

“I am somewhat dismayed that, as a neighbouring landowner, neither my client nor myself have not been notified of this application.  

“An approved planning application will have a significant burden upon my client’s freehold land”. 

He said it would increase footfall with people dog walking and using the commons for recreational activities.  

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“Provision should be made by the applicant to facilitate a fund for ongoing maintenance of the commons, which will increase as a result of the burden resulting from the development”. 

Mr Tabner also says that, on behalf of his client, he wants to raise concern with regard to the potential discharge of surface storm water.  

This, he claims, will “increase the burden of cost and maintenance upon the drainage ditches that are situated on the commons. 

“I would expect to see provision made by for future maintenance costs of these ditches, alternatively adoption by the drainage authority”. 

Map of Soham commons

Map of Soham commons - Credit: ECDC

Soham Town Council has re-iterated its objections to the gateway project which includes calling for a “considerable amount of money for protection and maintenance of the commons that surround it”. 

East Cambs Council has again asked for an extension of time to consider the application which was submitted in November 2019.  

Hundreds of objections have been raised including re-siting Staploe Medical Centre, access to the town, and mixed of housing proposed. 

One resident says a petition opposed to the scheme has been presented to the council. 

“It was overwhelmingly obvious from the response of nearly 200 residents that nobody wants the development to go ahead which surely speaks for Itself and the vote is a resounding NO,” he said.