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99-acre development just outside Newmarket will not be called in by housing secretary James Brokenshire




Kennett CLT's plans for the village
Kennett CLT's plans for the village

A district council's controversial plans to build a 99-acre 'garden village' just outside Newmarket has been given the green light by the government.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has today confirmed its application to build the 500 house estate in Kennett will not be called in by housing secretary James Brokenshire.

It means the district-owned company behind the scheme, East Cambs Trading Company, has now been granted outline planning permission for the Station Road development.

The council approved plans in April, but it was up to the government to make the final call.

Mr Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has said the decision should be a local one.

Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. Picture: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. Picture: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

In a letter to the authority from the department's planning casework manager Daniel Fawcett, it said: "The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believed planning decisions should be made at a local level"

East Cambridgeshire District Council has always claimed it was a community-backed project, created in partnership with the village's community land trust.

But campaigners against build claimed there is a 'lack of community support' for the project and attacked the plans as ones which will lead to Kennett losing 'all distinctive rural character'.

Earlier this year a government inspector demanded the council remove all mention of the Kennett development from the emerging local plan for the district. Because of this, the council pulled out of the process.

Today Phil Rose, head of property East Cambs Trading Company subsidiary Palace Green Homes, said: "We are very pleased to see this development take the next step in its journey.

Kennett CLT's plans for the village
Kennett CLT's plans for the village

"Community led developments like these bring real social and economic benefits and that's why we want to deliver more than just housing.

"Our developments create more sustainable communities shaped around the priorities that matter to local people."

The future of the trading company rests on being able to build the 500-house 'garden village'.

According to the trading company’s 2018 business plan, the build could see it making £30 million for the council as part of efforts to generate new sources of income amid continued reductions in its grant from central government and political pressure to freeze its part of the Council Tax.


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