Lib Dem Councillor Lorna Dupre is concerned at the influx of additional sites submitted by land owners for inclusion in East Cambs District Council's draft local plan
PUBLISHED: 17:01 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 26 May 2017
A district councillor claims local people are missing out on having their say on potential housing sites across East Cambridgeshire because owners have put forward their land late in the process for the creation of a new local plan.
Lib Dem Councillor Lorna Dupre, who is on the working party for East Cambs Council’s draft local plan, has made the claim after 69 additional sites were submitted by land owners for possible inclusion too late for public consultation.
Among the late submissions is a proposal for land that is part of the former air base off Mepal Road in Sutton to be earmarked for up to 349 homes.
Cllr Dupre said the 69 sites are only suggested for inclusion but unlike other parcels of land put forward at the start of the local plan drafting process they are not going out to public consultation.
Instead the parish councils will be making comments and the working party will be scrutinising the sites and making a decision based on those comments and recommendations from officers.
“These sites will not necessarily be included in the draft plan but I do think it is wrong that these landowners, who submitted their land late in the process are not facing the same scrutiny and public consultation as those who got their suggestions in early,” said Cllr Dupre.
She said: “I am concerned that sites that have been submitted late in the process are undergoing less scrutiny - It does not seem right. It also means that people living near these sites will not have a chance to have their say on whether or not they are included in the draft plan before it goes out for formal consultation in November.”
She added: “The working party meets every month to discuss various aspects of the local plan. When East Cambs Council announced it was looking at spreading new housing right across the district this opened the floodgates from land owners.
“My main concern is that less scrutiny could mean potentially bad decisions.
“And the new local plan will shape East Cambridgeshire for the next 20 years and more.”
A full suite of documents relevant to the preparation of the emerging Local Plan is available to download from the East Cambridgeshire Council’s website: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/local-development-framework/local-plan-review
You can also download a report providing a summary and maps for each of the additional site suggestions.