Re proposed development at 110 Cinques Road.
The proposed development would be contrary to core guidance set out in the Gamlingay Village Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document. Adopted in January 2020, the Guide is a material consideration in determining planning applications for developments within the village.
Section 4 of the Guide is concerned with how we can retain the existing dispersed settlement pattern of Gamlingay whilst incorporating new developments. The most clearly defined of our dispersed outer hamlets is the Cinques, illustrated in map form in Figure 6 of the Guide and in a photograph in Figure 7. According to the Village Design Guide, the current maximum reach of housing along Cinques Road from the hamlet toward the village ends at number 2/4 the Cinques. Proposed new builds (plots 1, 2 and 3) would abut 2/4 the Cinques and continue in a contiguous block along Cinques Road as far as number 110. New builds (plots 4 and 5) would continue on from there as another contiguous block as far as the entrance to North and East Lane. Allowing this in-filling of pasture along the road frontage in a ribbon form of development would therefore extend the reach of the Cinques hamlet’s housing as far as the North Lane/East Lane entrance. This is clearly not in the spirit of or in keeping with the Gamlingay Village Design Guide and would open the door to similar ribbon development along the opposite side of the road.
Also in section 4 of the Village Design Guide, retention and management of hedgerows on roads leading to the village, particularly from the hamlets, is recommended. Within its submissions the applicant mentions removal of hedgerow but the extent of the destruction of existing hedgerow is not made clear, nor is the reason for its destruction made clear. Potentially, it seems the proposed development could rip out 150 metres of hedgerow – to be able to properly appraise the development it is vital we know it entails in this regard and the reasoning for it. Another point here is that the developers are keen to claim replanting and eco-improvements will mitigate disruptions to the site or improve the ecology and biodiversity at site after development is complete. However, there is no obligation on the part of the plot owners to keep any plantings or ‘green’ add-ons the developers might have provided. Neighbouring contexts in fact encourage a plurality of frontages and screenings – number2/4 in the Cinques proper has a low brick wall for frontage, number 110 is screened by Leylandii on one side, a stand-alone bungalow at 125 has a non-native shrub hedge at the front. Gardeners will put up what they want, not what looks good on a planning proposal. The existing hedging could easily become a fragmented patchwork or disappear altogether and what was once a rustic approach to Gamlingay – in keeping with the Guide – become an urbanised routeway to the village.
Your comment has been passed on to Parish Councillors on the Planning Committee. You should also send comments to South Cambs District Council which, as the Planning Authority for Gamlingay, makes the decision on whether to approve or decline applications. The Parish Council is a consultee.
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