37 more homes are set to be built on the northern part of the former Barrington cement works following a review of the original plans.

South Cambridgeshire District Council granted outline approval in 2016 for 220 homes on site, and work has been completed on some southern sections.

Previously 76 homes had been approved for the northern section but newly-approved plans take this to 113, with 45 affordable homes, compared to 31 originally, set to be a mixture of rented and shared ownership.

A representative of developer Redrow (South Midlands) told the council’s planning committee on February 8 that the new plans “optimised the use of brownfield land” following the demolition of the cement works in 2018.

The council’s urban design team were concerned about the design “appearing too suburban”, with “additional car parking dominating the street scene” but planning officers pointed out that permission for a “suburban layout design” had already been given.

Cemex, the operator of Barrington Chalk Pit, objected as it has planning permission to run trains to the pit bringing materials to fill it providing the noise is below 55db at the nearest property. The new application will bring homes closer to the railway so Cemex asked for the developer to put mitigating measures in place.

The developer’s representative said the existing permission already approved homes nearer the railway line without such moves and noted that there was low use of the line anyway, and space on the railway land to introduce measures if needed.

Cllr Henry Batchelor (Lib Dem, Linton) said he was usually “uncomfortable” going against objections from consultees, but heard the planning officer’s justification.

Cllr Bill Handley (Lib Dem, Over and Willingham) said: “I can see the downsides of some of the objections, but I think the affordable housing is something we desperately need. It is something that shifts the balance in my perspective towards voting in favour.”

Cllr Dr Lisa Redrup (Lib Dem, Harston and Comberton) had concerns about increasing the number of homes on an “unsustainable site in terms of using cars”.

A majority of the councillors voted in favour of approval.

Image source: Redrow (South Midlands)

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