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64 caravans where 256 workers could live planned for near Cambridge

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Sixty-four static caravans could become home for up to 256 workers if a new ‘mini village’ wins approval from East Cambridgeshire planners.

The site is located to the north of Cambridge, approximately halfway between Cambridge and Ely on the A10.

The closest village is Chittering to the south (approximately 2.5km from the site) or Stretham to the north (approximately 3.7km from the site).

The site is located immediately north of the glasshouses – owned by Green House Ely – where the residents will be employed.

“Residents will be able to walk to work without having to leave the site,” says a report to planners.

Caravan village planned for workers near Cambridge

A transport and travel plan accompanying the application sets out how the company considers how employees might travel to nearby amenities by foot and cycle when they are not working.

Permissions for the four glasshouses at Ely Road, Chittering was given in 2014 for the growing of a range of salad crops, as well as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to supply electrical power and heat to the proposed glasshouses.

“The application for the glasshouses assumed that some employees would reside on site, and some would travel to the site each day for work,” says the report.

The proposed static caravans are 38ft x 12ft and house 4 to 6 people.

The applicants say communal facilities will be 32ft wide cabins and vary in length.

Caravan ‘village’ proposed for workers near Cambridge

An initial objection has been raised by the Environment Agency.

Their official told East Cambs planners: “We have reviewed the documents, as submitted, and are objecting in principle based on flood risk.

“Our maps show the site lies within fluvial Flood Zone 3a defined by the ‘Planning Practice Guidance: Flood Risk and Coastal Change’ as having a high probability of flooding.

“The proposal is for 64 Static Caravans, Ancillary Buildings and Associated Works for Worker Accommodation which is classified as a ‘highly vulnerable’ development.

Communal area within mini village near Cambridge

“Therefore, to comply with national policy the application is required to pass the Sequential and be supported by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment (FRA).

“Our Objection We object to the proposed development as it falls into a flood risk vulnerability category that is inappropriate to the flood zone in which the application site is located.

“The application is therefore contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework and its associated PPG.”

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