Planning Application For Homes On Church Land Refused At Eleventh Hour

THE saga of Soham Church Hall rumbles on. It was announced on Monday that the hall will remain standing for the time being – after a planning application for 13 homes to be built on the site was refused at the eleventh hour. Godmanchester-based develop

THE saga of Soham Church Hall rumbles on.

It was announced on Monday that the hall will remain standing for the time being - after a planning application for 13 homes to be built on the site was refused at the eleventh hour.

Godmanchester-based developer Amber Homes was given until 5pm on July 21 to negotiate a deal with council officials, then planning permission was refused.

The housebuilder is legally obliged to pay for community facilities or public open space in the town, but discussions with council officers have seen no progress in the 13 weeks since the application was first submitted.


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Nobody from Amber Homes was prepared to comment, but it is believed that they will take advantage of the chance to re-apply.

The developer had told Soham Town Council last year that they would be prepared to contribute towards the improvement of the Fountain Lane play area.

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Campaigners who have fought a long-running battle to save the hall are likely to have no reprieve - even if Amber Homes pull out, the church is obliged to sell the hall to the highest bidder, unless the bidder is a charity.

Jacky Hibbert, a member of the Community Hall Trust, said: "We just have to wait and see what develops - and hopefully it won't be houses.

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