East Cambridgeshire District Council drops highways objection to 160 home development in Burwell
Burwell’s clogged roads will not be a significant factor from stopping 160 homes being built in the village.
At Tuesday’s packed planning inquiry into East Cambridgeshire District Council’s decision to block 90 homes in Ness Road and 70 homes in Toyse Lane inspector Deborah Board said the main issues were the impact of the development on the landscape, the housing needs of the district and national policy.
Outraged residents heard the district council had decided to drop its highways objection after speaking to Cambridgeshire County Council’s roads department.
And the inspector decided she did not want to hear evidence from the department, with its written evidence being enough.
The Avenue resident Barry Garwood branded the inquiry a ‘whitewash’. “I thought highways was a sufficiently important point for somebody to be here.
“It’s an important issue for a lot of people because it will bring a lot of traffic to the village,” he said.
Robin Dyos, vice-chairman of the parish council, said Burwell’s congested roads were the ‘most important’ issue. “It’s the main cause for complaint,” he said.
In David Wilson Homes and Barratt Homes’ opening statement, lawyer Paul Tucker argued ‘the highways issue had gone’.
He admitted it would blight the landscape in the short-term, but said in the long-term would contribute.
And Mr Tucker claimed the district did not have enough houses and development would help meet its legally required five year housing quota.
But under cross- examination, district planning chairman Cllr Josh Schumann said the village would have enough affordable homes once all the approved schemes were complete, and called on developers to build their promised homes.
Acting for the district council, Ashley Bowes said the two sites were outside the village boundary, the visual impact would be higher than the developer stated and the site did not form part of the emerging plan.
A decision will be made later in the year.