Villagers raise awareness of controversial plans

PUBLISHED: 14:58 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:07 17 June 2020

Villagers submit their objections to plans submitted by the Diocese of Ely to create five homes in the village.

Villagers submit their objections to plans submitted by the Diocese of Ely to create five homes in the village.

Supplied

Villagers are raising awareness of a controversial planning application in Little Downham before it is discussed at tonight’s parish council meeting.

Site North of the Rectory in Little Downham where Ely Diocese has submitted plans for five homes to be created. Image: Heritage and Design Concept Statement for The Rectory, Little DownhamSite North of the Rectory in Little Downham where Ely Diocese has submitted plans for five homes to be created. Image: Heritage and Design Concept Statement for The Rectory, Little Downham

The Diocese of Ely has submitted plans to create five homes on land north of The Rectory in Main Street, Little Downham.

Those opposed to the proposal have been distributing posters to inform the community - and eight official objections have been submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Janine Pettifor, of School Lane, who objects to the plans, said: “When you look at the plans, these homes are three and four-bedroom executive style homes.

“Little Downham needs and wants more affordable homes particularly for people like key workers and young people, like my daughter, who have grown up in the village.”

Posters being distributed around Little Downham about Diocese of Ely plans to create five homes. Image: SuppliedPosters being distributed around Little Downham about Diocese of Ely plans to create five homes. Image: Supplied

While she feels the development would overlook her home if given the go-ahead, she says her view of the application would differ if affordable properties were included.

Janine, who is a Rainbows leader in the village, added: “It was a relief when I heard other people also feel this way too.

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“If we allow more of these developments to go ahead, Little Downham is really going to lose its community feel.”

Janine Pettifor and her daughter Isabelle are raising awareness of a controversial planning application in Little Downham. Image: SuppliedJanine Pettifor and her daughter Isabelle are raising awareness of a controversial planning application in Little Downham. Image: Supplied

The proposal outlines plans to redevelop two barns, which villagers say were one used regularly by community groups, and build another four three and four-bedroom properties.

In her formal objection letter, Janine’s daughter Isabelle writes: “The listed buildings that have been included in the development to be converted and extended, hold many memories for the people in this community.

“They were used by the Women’s Institute and the Cubs and Scouts in the 70s and it would be very sad to lose these from our history.

She added: “We are lucky as a village to have these buildings remaining and although they have been unused for some time, could they not still form a purpose in the community?”

Downham Feoffees Charity, which provides affordable housing for the community, has also submitted an objection and has also raised concerns about the narrow entrance of Main Street.

A Design and Access Statement submitted as part of the proposals said: “The proposed scheme has been designed to enhance the Little Downham Conservation Area by respecting the existing dwellings adjoining the site in terms of location, scale and materials.

“Although only the front of the site including the two barns incorporated into plot one are within the curtilage of the Conservation Area the whole scheme has been designed to a high standard to reflect the importance of the site.”

The application states traditional materials will be used for the build and the homes will be run efficiently “within a minimum carbon footprint”.


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