LETTER: Homes plans should match planning policy

A personal reaction as a resident to the application for up to 46 houses by Manor Oak Homes for Mr J and Mrs M Eade regarding land south of Main Street, Witchford.

Note it is for ‘UP TO’ 46 houses, meaning they would be willing to put fewer houses if there is good reason.

The planning application quotes the National Planning Policy Framework because it says decision makers should err in favour of development even if there are slight misgivings.

However, this same ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ also says, among other relevant advice, that the development should ‘plan positively for the provision and use of shared space, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments’.

My response to the planning application with back up evidence from the Framework is as follows:

• I suggest for each development (including this one) there should be at least one community facility included such as a building large enough to contain community rooms or shared facilities that the village needs – for exampe a doctor’s or nurse’s surgery/a suitable place for wheel-chaired people to meet/a teenagers’ coffee/pool room etc.

• I think it should include some roads wide enough for cars to be parked and a bus to be able to travel between them. Some paths should be cycle paths wide enough for people to walk and cyclists able to pass by accordingly.’ (My Framework reference four)

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This planning application also needs to be adjusted to be ACCURATE and to MATCH the following additional Framework expectation:

For example page 20 5.16 of the planning application admits that the area is outside the village envelope and says the development ‘will not harm the character of the village’ I DISAGREE – it makes the village more linear than it is. I think the village should be more community based and have a central hub which would be easy to establish near the Village Inn because the church, St Andrew’s Hall, the pub and the common and its playground are all close and in the centre. This area should have fewer houses that are more spread out with a larger number of trees to mitigate the pollution and over- crowding that the village is suffering from already.

Personally, I also think that as part of our plans for the village, horse field should become a ‘central’ park named ‘Horse field Park’ to maintain its value and historical interest.

I agree with the inspector who turned down the appeal to build there when he says ‘Its development would result in a continuous built up frontage with a fundamental loss of rural aspect. This would harm the character and appearance of the area.’


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