Azara Blog: First Arbury Camp planning application thrown out

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Date published: 2005/11/03

The Cambridge Evening News says:

The first planning application at a new development has been thrown out after it was likened to Communist Russia.

The six flats would be the first of 900 homes at the Arbury Park site in north Cambridge, but members of South Cambridgeshire District Council's development and conservation control committee described the design as "appalling".

Coun Sebastian Kindersley, council leader, said: "This is such a missed opportunity as it will be the first of thousands of houses to be built.

"I cannot support such an awful sight. I looked for a chink of light but found none."

Gallagher Estates have earmarked the flats as affordable housing for key worker ownership.

Wilmott Dixon Housing, which will build the six flats on their behalf, will now have to resubmit its application.

Contractors are building roads for the site and work to start building the houses is planned for next summer.

Officers recommended the application be approved, but after noting comments from Impington Parish Council, whose parish the site falls in, councillors agreed it did not conform to Gallagher's design guide for homes on the site.

Coun Dr David Bard, portfolio holder for planning and economic development, said: "These are not modern houses but more like what used to go up in Communist Russia. If this is the sort of thing in the design guide, then it should be revisited."

Coun Mike Mason, member for Histon and Impington, said: "It looks like a three-storey chicken shed and doesn't conform with the design guide."

The one photo of the proposal included in the Evening News article does not look either dreadful or wonderful, it just looks like a standard British box. And unfortunately Arbury Camp is in such a dreadful location (on top of the A14) that it's almost irrelevant what the housing looks like, it is not going to be a great place of residence, especially given the various politically correct impositions on the development (e.g. 30% so-called affordable housing, not enough car parking, wasted space for the so-called guided bus, etc.).

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