Villagers have their say on housing plan

Mike Swann Colin Conner and Alan Hadwen meeting with Keith Miles and his colleague of SCDC Planning

Mike Swann Colin Conner and Alan Hadwen meeting with Keith Miles and his colleague of SCDC Planning Department. - Credit: Archant

MORE than 550 residents have had their say over new housing developments in their village, with the vast majority coming out against the proposals.

Villagers from Melbourn were responding to consultation held by South Cambridgeshire District Council, as the council puts together its local plan for 2013.

The plan lists possible sites for development in the district, and includes a suggestion that 270 homes could be built near New Road, Melbourn, which is currently outside village development framework.

A group of villagers started the Melbourn Housing Development Awareness Campaign (MELDHAC) last month to encourage people from Melbourn to get involved in the consultation.

Members of MELDHAC delivered 550 completed consultation forms to the district council’s headquarters in Cambourne this week. About 100 additional forms were submitted directly to the council, covering about 30 per cent of village households.

A spokesman for MELDHAC said their analysis of the forms passed on to the council showed that 84 per cent of respondants rejected the prospect further development in the village, with eight per cent in favour and eight choosing to only make general comments.

The spokesman said: “The efforts to bring villagers attention to the proposals had justified the hard work put in to the campaign and it was hoped that the Council would take serious consideration of the views expressed when reaching further decisions on housing development later in the year.

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“MELDHAC would like to thank all villagers who completed forms and also the small group of volunteers who braved all weathers to assist the campaign.”

Sites listed in the local plan, such as the New Road land, have been put forward by developers or land owners as the district council looks to provide more housing. Inclusion in the plan does not necessarily mean they will be built on, but that they could be developed in the future.

The consultation closed on Monday, and Cllr Pippa Corney, said the council had had a “great response” from residents, with road show events held in villages around the district.

She said: “All views will be considered to help shape plans before any decisions begin to be made on where we should allocate employment and housing development.

“Some events saw 400 people through the door which demonstrates how passionately people feel about striking the right balance between providing for the future and protecting what makes the district a special and unique place.”