Developer’s bid for 100 homes on farm land set for approval

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House - Credit: Archant

Up to 100 new homes could be built on a site to the west of Ramsey – despite objections from the town council.

The 10 acres of arable land has effectively become part of the built up area of the town, despite its agricultural nature, because of other development taking place in the area, planners at Huntingdonshire District Council have said.

The authority's development management committee is being recommended to approve the outline plan, by Linden Ltd and the 1955 Settlement, at its meeting on November 18, although the site is not allocated for development in the local plan.

A report to the committee said: "When considered in the round, the proposal would contribute to the economic and other 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 said: "Overall, the harm identified is not considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the scheme's benefits when assessed against the policies in the national planning policy framework taken as a whole.

"This is a significant material consideration which outweighs the conflict with the development plan and therefore it is recommended that permission should be granted."

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Planners said the site, west of The Avenue, had existing built up areas and land committed for development on three sides, making it acceptable under the local plan and guidance for building in the countryside.

The report said: "In terms of the economic dimension of sustainable development, the proposal for 100 dwellings would contribute towards economic growth, including job creation during the construction phase and in the longer term through the additional population assisting the local economy through spending on local services/facilities."

Ramsey Town Council has recommended refusal saying Field Road has a history of flooding and that an additional 100 houses would cause highway safety issues as well as putting extra pressure on local infrastructure.

There were two other objections from residents who said there were sufficient brownfield sites on the former RAF Upwood technical site and Ramsey railway station where development should be centred, leaving green sites available for farming and recreation.

The plan is in outline form only and a further application would have to be made later to set out the details of the development.