Owners withdraw plans for 15 self-build homes at Wentworth near Ely farm after villagers and parish council protest

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build ho

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build homes - Credit: Archant

A company has withdrawn its application to East Cambridgeshire Council for 15 self-build plots to develop a farmyard after the plans were criticised by villagers and the parish council.

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build ho

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build homes - Credit: Archant

Agreserves Ltd paid £5,000 in fees to submit the application in May for College Farm, Main Street, Wentworth, but East Cambs Council confirmed it was withdrawn this week.

One resident said that the proposed development would – in one fell swoop- fulfil the

council’s own forward plan which is to provide 11 more homes by 2030.

“It is unacceptable that the village’s and the council’s long term plans and documented intent would be ignored in this case,” he told planners.

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build ho

Disused buildings at Wentworth farm that would have been demolished to make way for 15 self-build homes - Credit: Archant


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Another said that since 2012 it was always made clear that Wentworth could not cope with the traffic from 15 new homes and “the proposed development of self builds is completely wrong for this village and this area”.

The parish council claims the site is outside the historic development envelope and “large scale back-fill” housing should be rejected.

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They said it would be “an incongruous and isolated form of development” within a remote location and would damage the landscape. They summed it up as likely to create an “intrusive urbanising impact”.

The parish council said Wentworth already has 49 houses and this would represent a 30 per cent increase “which is unacceptable”.

Another resident said the village was already accepting some new housing (six had been approved for Main Street) but a housing estate of this size would considerably change the character, look and feel of Wentworth.

The resident also criticised an ecology scoping survey by the applicants which she said had been completed in March “when nearly all animals are hibernating and swallows have not returned”.

Dismissing claims there were no bats on the site the resident said “our garden next to the land can have dozens of bats, these are Pipistrelle bats. I was spotting them tonight in multiples at a frequency of approximately every five to 10 seconds”.

In a design statement on behalf of the owners, Jennifer Thomas Consultancy Ltd noted that East Cambs could not provide evidence of a five year supply of plan – as required- and claimed their site “is in part brownfield”.

Their report said: “The removal of the large, unsightly agricultural buildings would improve the character of the area”.

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