The Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust (SWCLT) have proposed a large scale development on the fringes of Wilburton. At public meetings the SWCLT have said much about "affordable housing" and "recreational amenities", but much less about the size of the housing development and the impact this is likely to have on the village. The proposal has now confirmed the size of this development, with 120 houses, 84 of those likely to be larger market houses, out of reach of those working locally earning local wages.
During the latest presentation, the SWCLT quickly skipped through slides showing the site in the context of the village. It is clear that this development is out of keeping with a traditional Fen Village - which typically expand along the key roads. This will create a new branch of the village, one which SWCLT trustees admit may expand further, breaking the development boundary on the south side of the A1123.
The proposed development is outside of the current Wilburton development envelope and is not included in the current 2015 local plan, nor was it in the revoked 2018 local plan, which did include democratically assessed sites both in Wilburton and across the county.
The revoked local plan included two assessed and accepted sites within Wilburton - one for 35 houses off Station Road, and one for 25 houses off Clarke's Lane - both to include 30% affordable housing. SWCLT included these in a display board - plus 14 houses already with planning permission and a further 18 either put forward or likely to be. So without the SWCLT proposal, it is possible that Wilburton could have a sustainable, organic growth of around 92 houses - an increase of around 15% to the housing total. Add in the SWCLT proposal, and that makes it a 38% increase.
These pages intend to rebalance the rather one sided view presented by the SWCLT, filling in the missing gaps behind the ECDC use (or misuse) of CLTs, and to compare the poor performance of the proposal compared to those across the UK in terms of delivering genuinely affordable homes. Unfortunately, despite claims of openess, the SWCLT have continued to refuse to answer questions from members of the community - whilst other local CLTs have responded quickly.
Next - The Site - Some Background
SWCLT promote themselves are being open and accountable - with the development being "community led" ("By the Community for the Community"). But there is a significant and growing number in the village who feel that this is not the case. Questions remain unanswered, and it is hoped that these pages will provide some facts regarding the development, about CLT East and the East Cambs Trading Company - and provide a place for the Community to voice their opinion (both for and against) the proposals.
Please get in contact to provide your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you. If you feel anything on these pages is inaccurate, please get in touch and point us in the right direction so we can present the facts.