Homes 'siloed on edge of village like old-style council estate'

Cllr Lorna Dupre has advised the plans for 55 affordable homes at Mepal (site pictured right) will go before the planning...

Cllr Lorna Dupre has advised the plans for 55 affordable homes at Mepal (site pictured right) will go before the planning committee of East Cambridgeshire District Council next month. There remains widespread opposition to the scheme - Credit: Archant

An opponent of 55 affordable homes for Mepal described it as "a development siloed on the edge of the village like an old-style council estate”. 

The comment from a resident living outside the village in a Grade II listed house is one of the more colourful comments of opposition. 

It is among dozens of objections being considered by East Cambridgeshire District Council ahead of the planning committee making its decision. 

That, says local councillor Lorna Dupre, is expected next month.  

Cllr Lorna Dupre has reminded her constituents that the county council as lead on floods still has concerns over Mepal...

Cllr Lorna Dupre has reminded her constituents that the county council as lead on floods still has concerns over Mepal housing scheme - Credit: Archant

“The application will now be considered by the committee on Wednesday March 3, as various issues including drainage and biodiversity are still outstanding,” she said.  


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These, says Cllr Dupre, include those from the lead local flood authority - Cambridgeshire County Council- which means the housing association “will have to address those concerns”. 

She summarised these as:  

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Flood risk to adjacent areas not sufficiently addressed 

Watercourse condition and capacity 

Insufficient treatment of highways drainage 

Insufficient SuDS (sustainable drainage system) for amenity and biodiversity 

Shared maintenance of permeable paving 

Havebury Housing Association submitted their plans for the Brick Lane housing last June but has met with widespread opposition.  

Havebury says all 55 homes will be affordable, promising a split of shared ownership and rented.  

They claim the six-acre site is ideal to help meet the needs of a district that has a big waiting list for housing.  

The housing association quotes correspondence with Kim Langley, of East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

Havebury says that confirms the housing need for East Cambridgeshire and Mepal specifically as at June 2019 was 530 applicants in total on the housing register. 

And of these 83 had a preference for Mepal, but accepted only 11 applications had a local connection to the village. 

The site is a field to the south of the village, with Brick Lane forming the northern boundary, Sutton Road forming the eastern and southern boundaries while the A142 forms the western boundary.  

Mepal site where 55 affordable homes are proposed by Havebury Housing Association

Mepal site where 55 affordable homes are proposed by Havebury Housing Association; the scheme has attracted large numbers of opponents, many from villagers. - Credit: Archant

Mepal parish council has scrutinised the plans and recently considered amendments put forward by Havebury. 

“The council discussed the amendment and agree there was no substantial difference and the plans had received,” it reported after their December meeting. 

The parish council felt there had been “only a subtle change to highways which did not mitigate the main concerns that we have previously expressed”. 

These, says the parish council, relate to noise, density, landscaping, lack of identified need, and increased pressure on the sewerage system.  

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