Officials say roads will be unable to cope with new homes but councillors disagree and approve plans


ECDC - Credit: Archant

A developer’s plans to build 16 new affordable homes in Littleport were approved by councillors

AJ Lee Developments application for new homes off Back Lane was considered by councillors at East Cambridgeshire District Council last night (Wednesday).

The plans were first considered by the planning committee in July but councillors deferred making a decision until more information was provided about the condition of the road and drainage details.

As well as producing the requested information, the applicant also decided to increase the number of houses for consideration from five to 16.

But the new plans met with similar concerns from officials as well as neighbours of the site, who said the surrounding roads would be unable to cope.

Cambridgeshire County Council said it would not be able to adopt the roads on the development because they are planned to be only 4.8m wide.

The council said its minimum requirement is 5m and added that it did “not accept narrow carriageways for adoption anymore”.

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A petition of 30 residents of Back Lane and Station Road was also submitted – objecting to the development on the grounds that it would create too much extra traffic and harm local wildlife.

Recommending the plans for refusal, planning officer Ann Caffall said: “Back Lane is substandard in width and has both garage doors and dwelling doors opening directly onto the lane.

“The proposed upgrading to Back Lane incorporates a substandard footway and carriageway which in combination is considered unsatisfactory for the increase in traffic generated by 16 new dwellings, the amenity and highway safety of existing

and future users of Back Lane.”

But, despite the misgivings of officials, councillors voted to approve the plans, saying that the development would help with “meeting housing need in Littleport”.