Consent for 34 homes off Chewells Lane, Haddenham

Objectives

MPC was appointed to work on an outline proposal for up to 40 homes in Haddenham in April 2017, based on our knowledge of the authority. Although the site had been allocated in the draft Local Plan, there was a lot of anxiety about new development in the village, and there were conflicting voices from a number of different parties promoting new homes.

Strategy

It was clear that these confusing messages needed to be clarified. These included a lot of concerns about the perceived oversubscription of the school, and traffic in the village. In order to resolve this, prior to any engagement with the wider community, we met with the headteacher of the school who was extremely helpful. She noted the significant capacity which the school already had, and the space which they could use to expand. This meant that we could successfully assuage concerns about this at the exhibition, and ensure that residents were well informed. In addition, as well as conducting our own surveys, we also engaged with the village’s Community Road Watch so that we could understand their data, and build up a better picture of the traffic flows through the village.

Result

At our exhibition, we were able to identify a number of supporters, and received supportive comments such as “I think it is a great idea we desperately need more houses.  40 houses is a moderate number which could be easily incorporated within the village.” We also managed to secure support from the Parish Council and ward members. The proposals, for up to 34 new homes, were approved by East Cambridgeshire District Council in March 2018.

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