Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Campaign to Protect Rural England

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The fight against development in Kennett continues

Thursday, 29 August 2019 13:14

A residents' group in Kennett is raising money to start a judicial review of a proposed 500-house ‘garden village’ extension of their village.

Kennett, located in East Cambridgeshire, currently has around 152 houses. 

East Cambridgeshire District Council approved the development (18/00752/ESO) in April 2018. However, the Kennett Action Group, a residents’ group campaigning against the development, questions the district council’s neutrality in this matter. Palace Green Homes, which will develop the project, is part of the East Cambs Trading Company, a property and community housing group, which itself is wholly owned by East Cambridgeshire District Council. 

Kennett Parish Council objected to the original planning application, calling the growth of the village ‘disproportionate’ and objecting to the permanent loss of open countryside. In addition, in its response to the planning application, the parish council argued that adding 500 houses to the existing village, ‘which has grown over centuries’ would completely change the nature of the community. Although parish councils can comment on planning applications, they cannot approve or reject them. 

In June 2019, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government refused to ‘call in’ the planning application. When a planning application is called in, the decision to approve or refuse it is taken away from a local housing authority and is instead made by the Secretary of State. Kennett Action Group is hoping that a judicial review may yet reverse the district council’s decision for this development to go ahead.

In August 2018, we objected to this planning application citing a number of issues, including:

  • Lack of sustainability – We said that with infrequent train and bus service, the new community would be highly reliant on road transport for work and leisure and highly dependent on local and long-distance commuting. 
  • Impact to local countryside and landscape – The development would remove countryside that is currently providing a protective buffer to the village from the A14 and A 11.  
  • Loss of agricultural land – The site contains Grade 2 agricultural land, which would be lost. Only fen land is graded higher at Grade 1. 

The Kennett Action Group is trying to raise £5000 on its crowdfunding site to bring about the judicial review. 


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