The small, single storey house above is 14 Worts’ Causeway, on the very edge of the city, at the southern boundary of our ward. It has been bought by a local property developer and plans submitted to replace it with two four-bedroomed, three-storey houses. You will doubtless have your own views as to whether or not this is a good thing, but whatever they are, I would encourage you to let the council planning officer know. It’s important to demonstrate that as local residents, we care about what’s going on. Below is how to do so, and why you need to do it today.
And why should we care about this small development?
I’ll hand you over here to local resident Jeremy Jones, who says this: “Any intensification in this area which goes unchallenged is likely to be used by the council as tacit acceptance of an increase in the area’s density, a factor which would be very important for us all if the Green Belt sites are approved for inclusion in the Local Plan. We need to voice our concerns about any inappropriate increase in density (as with this site) to protect the greater local area. The good news is that the local Council Planning department is very interested in the opinions of local residents on submitted planning applications and, unlike our Green Belt fight, your comments can actually have a significant impact upon the outcome of its deliberations.”
In other words, what’s being deemed as acceptable now could be scaled up significantly in the future.
Note that if 25 objections are received, this should be sufficient to trigger a Development Control Forum hearing where concerns could be voiced directly to the Planning Committee. Critically, the deadline for comments is NOW: Friday, 19th June. I apologise for not being aware of this sooner.
If you wish to submit an objection, you only need to outline why. Here are some suggestions:
Overdevelopment – The attempt to squeeze two detached homes onto this plot constitutes overdevelopment;
Inappropriate design – Design should take into account the views of local communities, and local residents are expressing their disapproval;
Unacceptable impact on privacy – The neighbouring property at 15 Alwyne Road will be overlooked by a total of four first floor bedrooms and both ground floor family areas;
Unacceptable environmental impact – The mature hedging and fencing that has characterised this plot needs to be protected.
If you wish to express your approval of the plans, I can’t really help, because I can’t see any redeeming features of the application. But do say what you think.
How to comment
The easiest way is to email the the Council Planning Officer, Mr Amit Patel (Amit.Patel@cambridge.gov.uk). However, if you’re registered at the council’s development website, you could submit your comments directly. The application can be found here or go to the home page here and search for 15/0908/FUL. Click “Comments” and you can sign in.
Having looked at the plans, they’re skeletal at best, and according to local residents, quite inaccurate. Where are the before-and-after photorealistic representations of what the buildings will look like from next door? These should be mandatory. In 2015, they’re easy to create, and the reason they’re missing is because they’ll show up the proposed development for the imposing eyesore which it appears to be.
This looks like yet another attempt to make as much money as possible from a plot, with no thought whatsoever being given to the locality, the neighbours or the social impact. It’s all about the profit. Would the developers want something like this built next door to their houses? Of course not. There are good people at the council who want to stand up to this sort of overdevelopment but they need public support, or the developers will just keep coming back. And next time, it could be in your road, and it might be the residents of Worts’ Causeway who you’re hoping will rally to your aid.