A major housing development which will bring nearly 3,000 new homes to St Neots is being recommended for approval after planners said a lower than required number of affordable homes in the early stages was “reasonable”.

Developers behind the Wintringham Park scheme, off Cambridge Road, may be allowed to build 25 per cent affordable housing in the first phase of 500 homes - instead of the total target 40 per cent - followed by a review in later phases.

An earlier bid to build the homes on the site, which is earmarked for development, ran into problems over the proposed amount of affordable homes which was also below the target.

The scheme involves the construction of up to 2,800 homes, 63,500 sqm of employment development, a district centre, a temporary school and two permanent schools, recreation space, accesses and infrastructure, for which outline permission is being sought.

Developers Wintringham Partners, including Urban and Civic which is behind the development at Alconbury Weald, also wants full planning permission for roads, landscaping, drainage and infrastructure on the site.

Huntingdonshire District Council's development management committee will consider the plans at its meeting on March 19.

The 400-acre site is part of the eastern expansion of St Neots, following on from the first phase of Loves Farm, with around 1,000 more homes in the second part of Loves Farm also in the pipeline.

St Neots Town Council has objected to the plan saying the application did not fully-meet the requirements of its neighbourhood plan - which is designed to give the community more of a say in development applications - along with a number of other issues, including traffic, retail and cemetery provision.

A viability appraisal for the plan has been carried out at the applicant's expense.

A report by planners said: "In this context, having regard to the desire to see early implementation of the development to help meet the area's housing needs, the acknowledgement of the infrastructure costs required in the early phases of the development and the opportunity to reassess viability and therefore overall through the review mechanism(s), 25 per cent affordable housing in the first phase of 500 with a review mechanism(s) to establish thee percentage in later phases is considered to be reasonable."