Row over ‘cheap’ housing

Developers have been accused of not building enough affordable homes in Soham.

Of 118 new homes built in the town last year, just nine were classed as social housing.

And at the town’s annual meeting on Monday, resident and shop owner, Jacky Hibbert hit out at home 
builder, Hopkins Homes, for slashing the number of affordable homes it had been due to build off in Regal Drive off Fordham Road from 29 to just 19.

“It always seems to be social housing that gets missed rather housing that can be sold for £250,000,” she told the meeting.

“Because developers can sell a house for £250,000 they neglect affordable housing.

“It is wrong.”

Earlier this month East Cambridgeshire District Council approved an amended planning application by Hopkins Homes in which the company reduced the number it had been due to build because the costs incurred while carrying out archaeological investigations of the site had spiralled from £60,000 to £300,000.

“So to recuperate their losses they are building only 19,” claimed Mrs Hibbert.

Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, and Soham North ward councillor, James Palmer said: “It is imperative that we bring along social housing.”

However, Soham South ward member Tony Parramint told the meeting that out of 288 new homes built in East Cambridgeshire area last year, 118 had been constructed in Soham, compared to just 56 in Ely.

“We are in an unbelievably fortunate position where people want to build and work in Soham,” he said.