Mereham campaigners face decision delay

PUBLISHED: 13:23 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS fighting against a plan for 5,000-home development in East Cambridgeshire have been told that a decision on the outcome of the appeal may not be made until September. With the Planning Inspector set to deliver his report on Mereham in April, t

CAMPAIGNERS fighting against a plan for 5,000-home development in East Cambridgeshire have been told that a decision on the outcome of the appeal may not be made until September.

With the Planning Inspector set to deliver his report on Mereham in April, the parties involved in the fight against the proposed new town had thought they would have had a decision in the summer.

However, the Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that they expect the Secretary of State to deliver her decision on or before September 9.

Cllr Phillip Read, Chairman of the Planning Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "The announcement last week has taken back many in the community who had thought that a decision on Mereham would have been made a lot sooner. I have to say it does seem a long while to have to wait for a decision but it is better to get the right decision and if that means a frustrating wait we shall unfortunately have to abide by it.

"The Inquiry has taken up a huge amount of officer time, district and county council resources and money which we intend to claim back as costs but there has obviously been an impact on the communities. I hope for their sakes that a decision can be made sooner to lift the emotional stress which I am sure they are suffering."

The Planning Inspectorate Inquiry over Mereham, which is vehemently opposed by East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, began on October 9 at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham and officially ended on January 8 with closing arguments from both sides.


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