Another 1,000 homes set for St Neots
PUBLISHED: 14:50 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 13 April 2018
A further 1,000 new homes are on the cards for St Neots - less than a month after nearly 3,000 more properties were approved for an adjacent site.
The second phase of the Loves Farm development will be discussed for the third time by Huntingdonshire District Council on April 16.
Councillors face options on making a final decision, including passing it on to the head of development and senior councillors to approve terms, approval subject to conditions after the completion of a Section 106 agreement for development benefits or refusal if the applicant fails to compete obligations to make the development acceptable in planning terms or will not accept an extension in time for the scheme to be determined.
The scheme, by Gallagher Estates involves the outline application for up to 1,020 homes, nearly 19 acres of mixed use land including a nursery/creche, a pub, a hotel and employment use, together with links to the original Loves Farm and site infrastructure.
A report to the committee said that the developer had increased its offer of affordable housing to 28 per cent - below the council’s 40 per cent target - totalling 286 homes. They would be split between 70 per cent rented and 30 per cent shared ownership.
The area east of the railway line has been earmarked for major development for some years and the first phase of Loves Farm has already been built.
Last month the committee gave the outline go-ahead for the adjacent Wintringham Park development for 2,800 homes 63,500 sqm of employment space, a district centre, two primary schools and recreation facilities.
The report said a viability appraisal of the affordable homes element of the extended Loves Farm had been carried out which concluded that the site could support more than 30 per cent affordable homes, although the developer felt it would deliver less than its offer, up from 25 per cent,
There have been concerns at the impact of traffic from the developments on the A428.
The report said the schemes would create a more attractive entrance to the town, adding that it was important work on the roads to serve both areas were planned and delivered appropriately.
It also said: “When considered in the round, the proposal would contribute significantly to the economic and social dimensions of sustainability.
“The scheme offers some environmental benefits but there would also be moderate harm to the character and appearance of the area.”
It added: “Overall, the harm identified is not considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the scheme’s benefits.”