MPC helps Bovis secure planning for 128 new homes in Cambridgeshire

Objectives

The site comprises 128 homes with a mix of house types including 2-5 bed private homes and affordable homes. The reserved matters for the site were first submitted in April 2017, and were refused at committee due to concerns regarding noise pollution and also proved heavily unpopular with Witchford residents. The scheme was subsequently revised and submitted as an updated application. MPC was appointed to work on the revised application with the objective to soothe relations with residents and key stakeholders through the provision of a sound communications strategy.

Strategy

Due to the previous tension between Bovis Homes and the local community regarding the site, the main objective was to demonstrate to residents and councillors that their concerns were being noted and responded to in the revised application. Consequently, the strategy included the use of a near neighbour event to help neighbours raise their concerns in a pre-booked appointment lasting 20 minutes. Additionally a committee briefing was provided to clearly indicate to members the progress that had taken place with the proposals.

Result

The application was passed at committee by unanimous vote. Members also specifically commented on their appreciation that Bovis Homes had improved the design and worked well with and listened to the local community, council members and officers. James Shuttleworth Regional Technical Director of Bovis Homes stated: "This has been a hard fought battle on a highly constrained contentious site. Well done and thank you to all of the consultant team who played a big part in the success of this application."

Case studies, The YIMBYJess Pickett