‘Grave concerns’ of parish council over housing plan for village

Pathfinder House, home of Huntingdonshire District Council.

Pathfinder House, home of Huntingdonshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

A 180-home housing development in Buckden is set to get the go-ahead - despite the “grave concerns” of the parish council.

Huntingdonshire District Council's development management committee is expected to rubberstamp the final details of the scheme, by Bloor Homes Eastern, at its meeting tonight (Monday).

The council had rejected the development in 2016 but it was approved by a planning inspector the following year.

Buckden Parish Council has recommended refusal of the scheme, saying noise from the nearby A1 exceeded World Health Organisation levels, shared surfaces were "inherently dangerous" and attacked the design of the houses, saying the project should be referred to the Cambridgeshire Quality Panel.

Council planners said that the homes, on a 23.5 acre site, should be approved: "The proposed development complies with the design code and the relevant principles of the outline planning permission and is satisfactory in all respects.

"The reserved matters should be approved."

Planners said the outline permission granted at the appeal had established the principle of development and that the reserved matters included details of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the 180 homes, 72 of which were affordable.

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They said the 441 off-street parking spaces for 180 homes was realistic and that the roads were sufficiently wide enough to accommodate "sensibly parked" vehicles.

The council's operations department said a LEAP play area was not central to the development and would be inaccessible to many people, including existing residents, and could attract anti-social behaviour because it was not overlooked.

The appeal inspector concluded that the new homes would clearly alter the appearance of the area, currently an arable field, but this was the logical site for the extension of the village and would only have minor landscape effects by its 10th year.

In a letter of objection to the district council, the parish said: "Buckden Parish Council has met Bloor Homes and their advisors Pegasus to discuss its misgivings about the design code for this development and has now seen the request for approval for reserved matters and full details of the of the appearance, layout, scale and landscaping for the proposed development.

"The council continues to have grave concerns. Unless the concerns can be met the council recommends that this application be refused."