Campaigners await inspector’s verdict on plan for 180-home development


Buckden - Credit: Archant

Campaigners believe they made a compelling case as the planning inspector heard arguments for and against a development of 180 new homes in Buckden at a public inquiry.

An artist's impression of Gladman's proposed site in Buckden.

An artist's impression of Gladman's proposed site in Buckden. - Credit: Archant

Gladman Developments was refused permission to build the homes on a 26-acre site off Lucks Lane by Huntingdonshire District Council but took the issue to appeal, resulting in a nine-day public inquiry, which ended on May 26.

Buckden Parish Council, Protecting Buckden’s Future and the district council put the case against the plans and campaigners believe they put forward a series of strong arguments. A final decision is expected in about a month.

Councillor Terry Hayward, who represents Buckden at the district council, said: “The appellant argued that the district council did not have a five-year supply of housing in its local plan, which the council argued that it did and I think the council did a very good job in showing that it did.

“Both Buckden Parish Council and Protecting Buckden’s Future posed that by building all these extra houses, the historic views of Buckden Tower and the church, which have existed for generations, would disappear.”

Councillor Hayward added that fears regarding the safety of access to the Lucks Lane site, and the potential merging of Buckden and Stirtloe were also raised.

Councillor Alec MacAndrew, of Buckden Parish Council, added: “From a parish point of view, what we were concerned about was traffic. Buckden is bordered on one side by the A1, which is getting busier, and on the other side by the East Coast Main Line, so we are between two major routes and the development would mean about 300 more cars on the roads around the village.”

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Gladman Developments applied to the district council for permission in principle to build the homes last year. The company announced its intentions for the site in early February, distributing more than 600 leaflets around the village and meeting with councillors on Buckden Parish Council.

Along with plans for more housing, Gladman included provision for public open space, surface water attenuation ponds, and widespread landscaping, including paths and trees.

The company has also proposed to set aside 40 per cent of the development for affordable housing, about 72 homes.

But parish councillors took a dim view of the proposals, and submitted a 43-page report setting out their objections.