U-turn on affordable homes for Witchford near Ely as a year after refusing them, East Cambs councillors vote in favour

Land to the rear of 1 to 7 Sutton Road Witchford has been approved for affordable housing

Land to the rear of 1 to 7 Sutton Road Witchford has been approved for affordable housing - Credit: Archant

Councillors did a U-turn and a year after first refusing permission they have agreed that A J Lee Developments Ltd can go ahead with 13 affordable homes in Witchford.

The company has amended their scheme – reducing the number of homes from 14 to 13 – and made other modifications including waste disposal that satisfied the planning committee.

Officers had recommended the new scheme for refusal alleging it was a “cramped, unacceptable form of back land development” but councillors disagreed.

One other major change has been to switch from 14 two storey houses to a mix of 10 two storey homes and three bungalows.

A legally binding agreement will ensure the homes to the rear of 1 to 7 Sutton Road are run by a registered provider of social housing.

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The council’s housing strategy officer Caroline Hannon told councillors that the housing register currently has 25 applicants with a connection to the village that are looking for housing.

She said the “mix of properties proposed does meet housing need”.

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The scheme was not without opposition locally – the parish council maintained its objections and several letters from residents were shown to councillors.

One was concerned about foul water drainage, loss of privacy, over looking and surface water drainage.

Another said that “it is not clear from the additional information how the applicant has resolved the waste management issues.

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