'Dismay' over homes plans for village

The plans for new homes at Stilton were met with dismay said one councillor.

The plans for new homes at Stilton were met with dismay said one councillor. - Credit: CROSS KEY HOMES

Plans for 70 new homes at Stilton have been approved, despite concerns being raised by some councillors.

The proposals were debated by councillors at a Huntingdonshire District Council's Development Management Committee on Monday, February 21.

Outline proposals to develop the site, west of the High Street, into 70 homes and a doctor’s surgery were initially approved in 2019.

The reserved matters application for more detailed plans was submitted to HDC by Cross Keys Homes Developments Ltd, a registered affordable housing provider. The proposals were for all 70 of the homes to be affordable housing, with 30 available for affordable rent and 40 available for shared ownership.

Speaking at the meeting on behalf of Stilton Parish Council, Councillor Marge Beuttell said the community in the village had seen the plans in “dismay” and argued it “bears no resemblance” to the approved outline plans.

She said: “Residents thought they were getting a mixed development of 70 houses that their children could buy or sell themselves, could upsize or downsize into, but now none will be for sale in the open market.

“Much of the dismay and disbelief felt by the villagers is because 70 homes have been squashed up together to free up space for a separate outline application on the same site for even more houses, overdevelopment."

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A representative of Cross Keys Homes spoke at the meeting, telling the committee that the development would be a “fantastic place to live” once it had been completed.

Responding to the concerns raised over only part of the original site being proposed to be used in the current application, he said: “That layout represented a grossly inefficient use of the land.

“In any event the council’s affordable housing register does not identify any significant need for very large detached houses. 

The representative added that it was “incorrect” to say the development would be “overly dense”, telling councillors that it would on average see 20 homes per hectare, which he said was “low in contemporary terms”.

Councillor Sarah Conboy said there were many things about the development that she was “uncomfortable” with, but said she was “struggling” to find a material planning reason to refuse the plans.

When it came to a vote, 11 councillors voted in favour of the plans and two voted against.