Eynesbury nursery site homes plan rejected due to ‘poor design’

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

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

A “poor quality” development would be created at a former nursery site in Eynesbury if a proposed homes scheme was allowed to go ahead, planners have said.

Huntingdonshire District Council has turned down new moves to redevelop the site at Luke Street by AWJ Usher and Sons in a farmhouse and workers’ cottage-style scheme.

The firm wanted to build a farmhouse, five cottages, two bungalows and a car barn on the land where a previous attempt at redevelopment had ended in an appeal being lost.

But the council turned down its planning application on the grounds that it would have an adverse impact on the St Neots conservation area and the life of nearby residents.

In rejecting the plan the council said: “The development would appear unduly cramped, due to the lack of space around the buildings, which with the undue dominance of hard landscaping for vehicles, a lack of space for adequate soft landscaping, and the lack of cohesion in the design and form of the dwellings, and poor design details such as in the prominent north elevation of plot 1 and the eastern elevation of plots 4-8, would result in a poor quality development which would detract from the appearance of the site, the special character and appearance of the St Neots conservation area and surrounding area.

“The proposal does not take best advantage of the opportunities for improving the character and quality of the area and the way it functions. The proposal does not conserve or enhance the historic environment or respond positively to its context or appear to draw inspiration from the key characteristics of its surroundings or contribute positively to the area’s character and identify or successfully integrate with adjoining buildings and spaces.”

But the firm’s application said the scheme would not harm heritage assets.

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It said: “The overall character of the development would be that of a well-designed and detailed residential development which suggests a farmhouse, workers’ cottages and converted barns, responding in an appropriate manner to the previously established constraints upon any opportunities for development at the site.

“The proposed development would make more efficient use of a site within a predominantly residential area without compromising the character and appearance of the locality, residential amenity and the character or appearance of the wider conservation area.”