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Inquiry to be held over plans for 170-home retirement village in Bottisham





An inquiry will be held into plans to build a new 170-home retirement village in Bottisham.

The developer behind the plans has lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate due to non-determination.

Bottisham retirement village illustrative image meadow proposed as part of the development Picture: Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd
Bottisham retirement village illustrative image meadow proposed as part of the development Picture: Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd

The plans state the development would offer an “extraordinary” place in a “stunning landscape” for both the existing village community, and those who could live in the new homes.

However, some people have objected to the plans to build the retirement village on green belt land, and questioned whether it is needed.

The new retirement village is proposed to be built on land off the High Street, to the east of the village.

The planning documents submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council said the new development would offer housing, alongside care, communal health, wellbeing and leisure facilities.

The plans said the site could provide up to 170 homes, 30 per cent of which would be made available as affordable housing.

The developer, Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd, said the majority of the existing land would not be built on, setting out proposals for a park area to be created.

The plans said: “The single largest area of open space is the field in the southern part of the site, which forms an important part of the setting of Bottisham House to the south.

“This field will be opened for public access for the first time and retained largely in its current form as an era of naturalistic, informal open space with a parkland character.”

The documents set out that existing mature walnut trees and an area of woodland along the western boundary would be kept, with more trees also proposed to be planted.

A children’s play area is also proposed, and planning documents said there is “scope” to create a community orchard.

The developer said: “Our vision is to create an extra-ordinary place defined by a stunning landscape for all to enjoy.

“Accessible to the existing and new community, Bottisham Meadows will become an integral part of the village, delivering high quality housing with care and bringing together young and old through a variety of open spaces, community assets and natural habitats for local enjoyment.”

Bottisham retirement village proposals Picture: Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd
Bottisham retirement village proposals Picture: Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd

Similar plans to build a retirement care village in the same place were refused by the district council in 2021, with a subsequent appeal to the planning inspector being dismissed the following year.

At the time the district council said it felt the development would “encroach upon the open countryside”.

Members of the public have said they are still concerned about the new proposals, with 92 objections being lodged with the district council.

Some raised concerns that the new homes are proposed to be built on green belt land, and others highlighted that there were existing care homes in the village.

One person said the village needed other facilities, highlighting that there was not a dedicated gym or a cafe.

They said: “There are plenty of development that I, and I am sure the rest of the village, would welcome with great enthusiasm; but yet another care facility is honestly a pretty short sighted and disappointing proposals as it both does nothing to enhance the area for locals and further reduces what usable space we have.”

An inquiry is due to be held in October, after which the planning inspector is expected to make a decision whether to approve the plans.

If the outline application is approved by the planning inspector, more detailed plans will need to be submitted to the district council for approval before work can start.



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