A government-owned “housing accelerator” has taken over a development which is set to bring more than 200 homes to a controversial site near St Ives - with the aim of getting it built.
Homes England - set up by the government to boost the number of new homes built in England and to speed-up the rate public land can be built on - will now submit a new outline planning application for the Field Site between Houghton and Wyton and St Ives.
The original application, in the name of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, involving 224 homes and a retail outlet, has now been officially withdrawn.
The site is part of a major redevelopment area to the west of St Ives, taking in parts of the town’s former golf course and the redundant Houghton Poultry Research Station, which has been on the cards for development for more than a decade.
But there was concern from people living in the Houghton and Wyton area that their community would be joined on to St Ives, leading to a top level legal challenge to the planning procedures.
Homes England has been carrying out a “master planning” exercise for the Field Site which will culminate in a new outline planning application for the land.
Frustration over the time taken to get some development sites under way prompted the setting up of Homes England which described itself as: “We’re the government’s housing accelerator. We have the appetite, influence, expertise and resources to drive positive market change.
“By releasing more land to developers who want to make a difference, we’re making possible the new homes England needs, helping to improve neighbourhoods and grow communities. So we welcome partners who share our ambition to challenge traditional norms and build better homes faster.”
Homes England said it was also responsible for increasing the number of new homes being built in England, improving existing affordable homes and bringing empty homes back into use as affordable housing.
It also plans to increase the supply of public land and to speed up the rate it can be built on.