Concerns about lack of infrastructure in village if more houses are built

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

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

A major housing development which would have brought nearly 350 homes and a school to Sawtry has been thrown out by Huntingdonshire District Council.

But Larkfleet Homes, which is behind the scheme off Shawley Road and Glatton Road, is likely to appeal against the decision, planners have said.

Council planners had originally backed the outline development for up to 340 homes, 40 per cent of which would be affordable, open space and a primary school, saying that the benefits from the new homes outweighed any harm they caused.

But the council’s Development Management Committee turned the plan down, emphasising that it was in open countryside and that it was in conflict with the Local Plan.

Sawtry Parish Council opposed the development which also received 16 other objections, mainly around the impact that the homes would have on the community and its limited services.

The parish said the district had earlier rejected the site for consideration in the draft local plan and that the village had already seen the approval of three large schemes which would bring 420 more homes with no additional infrastructure.

It said the scheme would create a precedent for building in the Glatton area and that it would create drainage and traffic problems.

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The parish described the proposed travel plan as not being based on reality and that the lack of local jobs meant residents had to drive to work.

In its letter refusing the scheme the council said the site 42-acre site was in an area defined as countryside which its policies sought to protect.

It said: “The proposed development would encroach into the open countryside outside the village edge defined by Sawtry Brook. The proposal would result in significant harm to the character of the countryside and to the contribution the site makes to landscape character and settlement identity.”

Planners had earlier recommended approval, saying the benefits of the scheme outweighed a clash with its policy and that it should be approved because of this.

Developers said in their application: “In conclusion, the proposed development is in accordance with the relevant policies of the Development Plan. There are no insurmountable technical issues in the development control sense that should prevent permission being granted and therefore, it is respectfully requested that planning permission is granted without delay.”