St John’s College outline plans for 100 homes in March NE citing Fenland Council’s ‘non allocated’ policy for doing so

St John's college exhibition for 100 homes in NE March

St John's college exhibition for 100 homes in NE March - Credit: Archant

Around 70 people attended a public exhibition to look at outline plans by St John’s College, Cambridge, to build up to 100 homes in March.

St John's college exhibition for 100 homes in NE March

St John's college exhibition for 100 homes in NE March - Credit: Archant

The college believes it has a cast iron case to develop the 20 acre site next to Estover playing fields.

Andrew Hodgson, associate director of the college’s agents, Savills, said pre-application discussions had taken place with Fenland District Council.

Mr Hodgson said a further 40 acres of farm land, also owned by St John’s, could eventually become housing but he insisted there no plans for that at this stage.

He said the land now being looked at for 100 homes fell within the Local Plan guidelines which were approved by Fenland Council following an inspector’s report.

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Mr Hodgson said 450 homes in March NE “were originally allocated but then deleted. I know that because I sat through the inquiry. However the non allocated policy allows for up to 250 homes – we have that in writing”.

He said the non allocated policy was discussed between planning officers and the inspector at the public inquiry “and the inspector was comfortable with that”. Mr Hodgson accepted there had been some controversy over the non allocated issue but declined to comment on it. He could, however, understand how the Local Plan implications “could be confusing for some”.

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St John’s had owned land in March for some time “and this gives us the opportunity to put a development on that parcel of land”.

Infrastructure requirements would follow as part of a section 106 agreement and he expected there would be a contribution towards Estover playing fields “which we will certainly be doing.”

A quarter of the homes to be built in March NE would be classed as affordable and Savills would be looking at local roads and junctions to see what might be needed. The idea would be once consent is obtained to “sell to a house builder and they will deal with that.

Savills advises St John’s on their land holdings; other land in March would continue to be managed as agricultural tenancies.

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