Developer criticised for being ‘cavalier’ as Melbourn Parish Council hosts 200-home exhibition

Councillors Val Barrett and Jose Hales, who has labelled the actions of the developer as 'cavalier'

Councillors Val Barrett and Jose Hales, who has labelled the actions of the developer as 'cavalier'. - Credit: Archant

A public exhibition putting the spotlight on controversial plans for nearly 200 new homes has been arranged by parish councillors – after the developer behind the scheme said it wouldn’t set one up.

Now people are being invited to come along to the Melbourn showcase and say what they think.

Melbourn Parish Council, which is vehemently opposed to the plans to build homes on a site off New Road, has organised the exhibition on the blueprint put forward by developers Endurance Estates.

A spokesman for Sharpe Communications, on behalf of Endurance Estates, confirmed the developers have refused previous requests from the parish council to stage a similar event.

He said: “We have already sent out leaflets to residents asking for feedback, and some of this was very constructive.

“We felt an exhibition would not be appropriate as it would only include people who were available to attend over the weekend.”

The plans have faced staunch opposition from people living in the village, who have voted against them in two public consultations – one held by South Cambs District Council and another by the parish council itself.

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Parish council chairman Bob Tulloch said: “The council thinks that Endurance Estates has fallen far short of the steps it ought to have taken to keep the local community in the picture.

“It is essential that as a village we maintain our opposition.”

Villagers have expressed concerns that the increase in housing will not be matched by an increase in amenities to cater for a surge in the population.

Alyn Calyston, 72, of Bramley Avenue, said: “I’ve lived here 50 years and I’ve seen some changes. I know we need houses, but we need the infrastructure to go with it.”

And fellow villager Clive Porter said: “I’m very much against the plans, although I think the plans will go ahead anyway.

“The local services couldn’t cope with the extra people.”

One young mother, who asked not to be named, said: “What concerns me is that if all these new houses are built, it might impact on my child’s chance of getting a school place.”

But business woman Jacqui Watson said the houses are much needed, and accused those opposed to the plans of ‘nimbyism’.

Councillor Jose Hales, who represents the area on South Cambs District Council and is strongly opposed to the plans, said: “I am extremely disappointed and concerned with Endurance Estates’ dubious and cavalier attitude towards the development they are planning and the consultation process they have adopted.

“A proposed development of 199 houses most certainly warrants a public exhibition where residents both for or against can come along to and make their comment to the developers as well as see what the plans look like.”

The plans will be put on show in Melbourn Village Hub on Saturday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and Sunday from 9.30am to 2pm.