Anger as planners defy local opposition and approve Cheveley homes bid

Residents have argued that the land is not suitable for development, with plenty of brownfield sites in Cheveley more appropriate for new homes.
Residents have argued that the land is not suitable for development, with plenty of brownfield sites in Cheveley more appropriate for new homes.

District councillors have given the go ahead to a controversial housing development in Cheveley despite local opposition to the plans.

The vote, taken at Wednesday’s East Cambridgeshire District Council planning meeting, will see 10 mostly ‘executive style’ homes built on land behind The Paddocks, off Cheveley High Street, in defiance of hundreds of residents signing a petition opposing the development alongside the parish council coming out against the building work and opposition from County Councillor Matthew Shuter.

Richard Fullerton, who addressed the committee on behalf of opposition group Save Cheveley from Over-development (SCFOD), told planners: “This development is not going to solve the district’s housing crisis. These 10 hardly make a big impact on housing stock numbers – but they will have an extraordinarily negative impact on our village.

“This application is for the wrong type of houses, on the wrong soil.”

Campaigners argued the development would significantly increase the likelihood of flooding in the village, nearby residents would lose privacy, and that the development was out of character.

Because of the way the estate has been submitted to planners – in two phases – developer, Lightdoor, has avoided the full affordable homes quota it would have to meet if all 24 houses were included in the same proposal.

Cllr Joshua Schumann, committee chairman, said: “It’s disappointing that it’s a phased development, which means it doesn’t include affordable housing, any proceeding development will be frowned upon in the future.”

Peter Sutton, Lightdoor’s agent, said: “No affordable homes are needed for the scheme. We’re offering two.”

After the meeting, a spokesman for SCFOD said: “We were facing an uphill battle. Illogical decisions have been made along the way that worked against us and we had no recourse to reverse them despite highlighting their unfairness.

“As a consequence of this development there is a high likelihood of serious flooding, if not in the area of this site it will be down the hill in north Cheveley.”

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