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Residents ‘feel betrayed’ over approval of retirement village in Bottisham





A parish council has hit out at the decision to approve a new retirement village in Bottisham labelled an “inappropriate development in the green belt”.

Plans for the development, which is due to be built on land off the High Street to the east of the village, were approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate last month.

A CGI of how it would look
A CGI of how it would look

Bottisham Parish Council said in a statement that residents were “outraged and concerned” by the approval.

The statement continued: “Residents feel betrayed that government reassurances to protect green belt areas are clearly not being adhered to and that the proposed development will destroy the countryside of Bottisham village by urbanising it. Despite its small population of 2,400, Bottisham already hosts two elderly care facilities and the East Cambridge District Council Local Plan predicts demand for this type of service is actually needed further north, in the growth areas of Soham, Ely and Littleport.”

The developer Axis Land Partnerships Ltd and Bottisham Farming Ltd submitted an appeal to the inspectorate after the district council failed to make a decision within the required time period.

The council said it would have refused the application, arguing the very special circumstances did not exist to allow the development to go ahead on green belt land.

Bottisham retirement village proposals: Illustrative image of meadow proposed as part of the development. Image: Axis Land
Bottisham retirement village proposals: Illustrative image of meadow proposed as part of the development. Image: Axis Land

The retirement village will be made up of 170 homes, of which 30 per cent would be made available as affordable housing.

The planning inspector said there was “no dispute” that the new retirement village would be an “inappropriate development in the green belt”.

But residents, who have launched a petition to fight the plans, say Bottisham is already home to two elderly care facilities and cannot accommodate a third.

Concerns have also been raised by Bottisham Medical Practice, which is already at capacity with 6,000 patients in the surgery’s catchment area.

A further 92 objection letters against the proposal and the petition along with supporting arguments were presented to the district council on Tuesday, 19 March. Residents and the parish council met with Lucy Frazer MP on Saturday, 23 March.




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