Planning inspector backs council in refusing plans to expand Witchford mobile home park

Witchford Planning Application, Cathedral View

Witchford Planning Application, Cathedral View - Credit: Archant

THE owner of a mobile home park in Witchford has failed in his appeal to increase its size by up to 50 per cent.

Matthew Webb’s plans to expand Cathedral View by 16 homes were rejected by East Cambridgeshire District Council in May last year. The council said the development would encroach on the surrounding countryside.

Three months later, Mr Webb appealed to the Planning Inspectorate but, following a visit from an inspector in September, the council’s decision was upheld.

Inspectors agreed that development had to be strictly controlled because it was deemed open countryside and rejected Mr Webb’s contention that the mobile homes would add to affordable housing stock.

Inspector Terry Phillimore said: “I have taken into account the history of the Cathedral View site and the circumstances of the previously permitted extensions to it, but assess the appeal proposal on the basis of current policy.

“I have also had regard to the potential benefits of bringing this site into use, the absence of objections and the potential for the impact of traffic noise on the site to be addressed by way of bunding and other measures.

“None of these factors outweigh the conflict that I find with the development plan and which leads to my conclusion.”

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Ronald Perrin, the agent acting on behalf of Mr Webb, said the extra mobile homes, to add to the 33 already in place, would constitute low-cost affordable housing at a time when house building in the district was stagnant.

The park lies on the site of former RAF buildings associated with the old Lancaster Way airfield, which neighbours the site.