Network Rail and Highways England put in holding objections to East Cambs Council’s plan for 500 homes at Kennett

Kennett Garden project

Kennett Garden project - Credit: Archant

Highways England and Network Rail are among holding objections to East Cambridgeshire Council owned Palace Green Homes that wants to create a new garden village at Kennett with 500 homes, a care home for the elderly, a business park and shops.

Kennett Action Group: Their banner

Kennett Action Group: Their banner - Credit: Archant

Highways England wants more time to consider the application whilst Network Rail says Palace Green Homes has not discussed with them proposals for a new park at Kennett rail station.

Over 50 letters of objection have been lodged with the council including that of Moulton parish council who says the continued use of the B1085 as a through route between the A11 and the A14 is “unsustainable for any significant increase in traffic”.

The council says it accepts the development may not create sufficient money for the first phase of 500 homes but with the site likely to expand to 2,000 homes there ought to be external funding available to a new road.

“It is essential that a solution to the traffic dangers is addressed prior to any development,” the council clerk Lorraine Stone told planners.

Kennett Action Group: Drawing showing the scale of the proposed development of 500 homes

Kennett Action Group: Drawing showing the scale of the proposed development of 500 homes - Credit: Archant

Historic England labelled the proposals “premature”, arguing that a heritage impact assessment is needed to evaluate concerns and particularly a scheduled monument Howe Hill bowl barrow “which survives as a substantial earthwork”.

A ‘round robin’ objection – signed by a large number of residents – has been sent to the district council claiming that only one in five Kennett residents support the garden village.

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They claim principal concerns remain the over expansion of the village and the large amount of extra traffic expected.

A recent accident involving an accident on Bury Road when a car ploughed into a house has also been raised by objectors who claim it backs their demands for traffic calming measures through the village.

They say councillors deemed it unnecessary “and instead we face the prospect of a significant increase in the current dangers”.

Palace Green Homes say up to 30 per cent of the total of homes to be built will be affordable including those allocated for local people through the Kennett Community Land Trust/

Phil Rose, head of property and development at Palace Green Homes, said, “The input we’ve received from members of the community over the last 18 months or so has really driven the design of Kennett Garden Village.

“We’ve directly responded to feedback in each iteration of the master plan we’ve developed, and I’m confident we’ve arrived at a final plan that reflects the aspirations and needs of local residents, and will bring tangible, long-term benefits. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to get involved.”

The application will now be considered by planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council over the coming months.

If planning permission is granted, it is envisaged that work could start around one year later, subject to the completion and approval of detailed designs and a tender procurement process.

Planning files show that 100 acres set aside for homes is owned by Joanna Reekes, Charlotte Tilbrook and Richard Tilbrook who have signed an agreement with the council’s trading arm and the land trust to acquire the land.

The council says two thirds of Kennett residents voted for the development when it was discussed last November “demonstrating strong local community support”.