Town councillor’s concern at Soham’s ‘speedy’ expansion as estate plans are discussed

Planning applicaiton for 160 homes on land South Of Blackberry Lane Soham.

Planning applicaiton for 160 homes on land South Of Blackberry Lane Soham. - Credit: Archant

An new estate could be built in Soham if plans for 160 family homes, eight self build plots, two parks and a dog walking route are given the go ahead.

Property developers Orbit, from Coventry, want to develop 6.79 hectares of farm land south of Blackberry Lane.

Town councillor Geoffrey Woollard, said: “I’m very concerned at the speed and extent of Soham’s expansion.

“East Cambridgeshire District Councillors - who are supposed to represent us - don’t seem to be in tune with the views of the present residents of Soham.

“They should refuse consent for all of these further huge developments.”

If given the go ahead entry to the estate would be by a new junction where Regal Lane meets Brook Street.

The site is boundaried to the west by homes, beyond which there is an industrial site off Regal Lane.

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To the east is the A142 bypass and to the north and south is farmland.

In a document prepared by Orbit a spokesman said: “The proposed development will deliver much needed open market and affordable housing.

”The delivery of 168 dwellings will also generate jobs in the construction industry during the construction phase and as part of the occupation phase in maintenance and service roles bringing long term economic benefits.

“The impact of the additional dwellings in terms of generated traffic has been assessed by using local and national criteria which will be evaluated by Cambridge County Council,” the report adds.

An acoustic fence has been included to reduce noise impact from the A142, and to stop pet cats crossing the road to Wet Horse Fen, a site of scientific special interest to protect wildlife there.

Footways will be provided through the site to link footpaths on Brook Street and Regal Lane.

The report says that: “The applicant considers the development to be an appropriate, sympathetic and sustainable development having regard to the constraints, characteristics and opportunities presented by this site and its surroundings.”

• The plan is being discussed at Soham Town Council’s planning committee on Wednesday June 28 at 1pm at the Pavilion.

• Cllr Woollard said those listed on the website as the landowners/tenants are C.Palmer, Soham; DJ Palmer Soham; B Ashton, Ely; Bishop Laney’s Charity, Ely.

• There is a public comment time at the beginning of the meeting. Those wishing to comment should telephone the Town Clerk before noon on the day of the meeting on 01353 723472.