The Planning Inspectorate has ruled that a 170-unit retirement village can be built on Green Belt land in Bottisham.

Axis Land Partnerships and Bottisham Farming’s appealed on the grounds of non-determination by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Their application is to build an 8.4-hectare site to the rear of 163-187 High Street. The scheme includes a 30 proportion of affordable homes.

The council said it would have refused the application, arguing the very special circumstances required to allow Green Belt development, had not been met.

An inquiry was held in October last year and scores of locals raised objections.

The report, just published, noted a moderate negative effect on the Green Belt. Other harms included impact on the character of the area and loss of agricultural land.

However, the inspector said no alternative sites had been identified for kind of retirement village.

The report concluded that the benefits of the development were enough to outweigh the harm and conflict with planning policies.

It stated: “The provision of up to 170 extra care units would be anticipated to release 113 existing housing units into the market. This would be due to future occupants of the extra care accommodation vacating existing properties, which are often under-occupied and larger family houses. These knock-on benefits attract significant weight in favour.”

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