06:00 Thursday 30 January 2014

Controversy over Littleport affordable housing plans

Written byJORDAN DAY

A generic picture of new housing. A generic picture of new housing.

Plans to build more than 20 new affordable homes not far from a railway station are proving controversial.

Residents in the Station Road and Back Lane area of Littleport are urging East Cambridgeshire District Council to refuse proposals for an affordable housing scheme near their homes.

Ely-based AJ Lee Developments wants to build 21 affordable housing units on a parcel of land to the north east of Back Lane, and applied for planning permission earlier this month (January).

The proposals involve building 12 two-bedroom houses, three three-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses and four flats.

The developer’s agents say the scheme has been “designed to minimise impact on neighbouring interests and to avoid overshadowing, overlooking, loss of privacy and dominating impact whilst providing appropriate amenity”.

But nearby residents are worried - particularly about access to the site, the increase in traffic and the impact the development could have on their homes.

In a letter to the council, Mrs J Russell, who lives next to the proposed site, said: “I am very worried about all the extra traffic and disturbance so many extra houses will cause.

“Back Lane is only narrow and unmade, and some of my neighbours have to park on the lane as they have no garages or driveways. This makes it even narrower.

“I would be worried for my safety with so many more cars and vans travelling to and from the new houses.”

Jean Scott, of Station Road, said: “Back Lane is not a public highway, but a single-width, unmade, unadopted track.

“It would not give safe or suitable access to the planned 21 units and their accompanying vehicles, or for the emergency, goods, refuse and visiting vehicles which would have to be able to use it.

“The entrance and exit from Back Lane itself is already a danger zone and the extra volume of traffic would greatly add to the danger.

“I understand the need for affordable housing but I cannot understand why this site was considered suitable in the first place.”

According to the developer, the new homes will be “redolent of the best traditional local vernacular,” and will “reflect the position of Littleport in the settlement hierarchy”.

The final decision lies with the district council.

To have your say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk.

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