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Outline Application for 10 New Bungalows at Mill Hill, Swaffham Prior

July 2017

INTRODUCTION Mead Homes Ltd have submitted an Outline Application for 10 single storey dwellings on the land at Mill Hill. The purpose of this brochure is to give readers information about the proposal and the site investigations and analyses that have taken place over recent months. A PDF of this document and links to all the investigations can be found on our website The East Cambridgeshire planning reference is 17/01208/OUM Whilst we have endeavoured to address the main considerations raised to date about the land please email Michael Mead at should you require any further information.


• Four, 71m2 semi-detached 2-bed bungalows

• Six, 117.5m2 detached 3-bed bungalows • All dwellings will have a garage and off-road parking

ELEVATIONS The elevations below have been submitted and used in our pre-application studies. As this is an outline application, the materials and detailed elevations of the properties have yet to be determined.

VIEWS Proposed view from Fairview Grove

Proposed view from Rogers Road

PRE-APPLICATION ADVICE In July 2016, a pre-application enquiry was submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council. The summary was as follows:

What were the issues to be addressed? Heritage- An assessment of the scheme's impact on nearby listed buildings and ancient monuments, along with a mitigation strategy.

Highways- Ensuring a safe and convenient access to the highway network in line with the County Council's criteria.

Windmill- A study to demonstrate there would not be a detrimental impact on the working windmill.

BUNGALOWS IN OUR VILLAGE Only 3 bungalows have been on the market and sold in the last 5 years.

Swaffham Prior currently has 42 privately owned bungalows. Since January 2000, only 9 out of 165 property sales in Swaffham Prior were bungalows. A quarter of these 42 have been in the same ownership for the last 30 years.

When people purchase a bungalow, they have little reason to move out of it.

Others are tied to larger residences and so will only ever be sold as a larger parcel.

Additional space is achieved by a loft conversion; examples of which can be seen throughout the village.

This application presents our village with an opportunity to increase the number of private bungalows in the village by a quarter. A scheme of this quantity of solely private bungalows has not been delivered in this district for years and the chances of one occurring in the future are ever-decreasing. *Based on our village research, Zoopla and Rightmove data.

Zoopla lists the Current Average Value of properties in Swaffham Prior as ÂŁ505,867 (as of 5 July 2017). It is anticipated that the proposed dwellings would all sell for less than the average. The last three bungalow sales in Swaffham Prior:

3 Tothill Rd

50 Lower End

21 Green Head Rd




June 2015

Sept 2012

Feb 2012

2 Bedrooms

4 Bedrooms

3 Bedrooms

THE SHORTAGE OF BUNGALOWS In 2014, the NHBC reported that bungalows accounted for just 1% of new build registrations in the UK1.

Number of bungalows built in the UK2:

1986: 27,200 2009: 300

“The district also faces a major challenge in increasing the provision of housing for potentially vulnerable elderly and single person households. The Council will therefore aim to ensure that a proportion of new housing built as part of major housing developments is suitable, or easily adaptable for occupation by the elderly or people with disabilities.” -East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Local Plan, section 4.2.4

‘We must build more homes or suitable accommodation for older people if we are to avoid problems further down the track…. We’re all living longer and there will be a big rise in the number of older people in future years. Making sure councils plan for this and for enough suitable homes like bungalows in their area will help ensure the ageing population can live in the places they want and enjoy their retirement.’3 -2013 Planning Minister Nick Boles

Older homeowners are often 'trapped' in large houses and unable to downsize because of a crisis in bungalow building4

By 2021, 54% of households would be aged over 65 yet the current housing supply was failing to meet the needs of an aging population.5 -Henry Robinson, President of Country Land and Business


The region has a growing and ageing population. Between 2014 and 2039 it is estimated that the number of households aged 65 and over will increase by 62%, from 759,000 to 1,230,000. This is the third biggest increase behind London and the South East.6

If there's a shortage, why aren't more bungalows built? Bungalows are not favoured by developers because they take up considerably more floor space than traditional houses and are therefore considered less desirable for developers to build, with planning policy usually specifying much denser development. References 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) National Housing Federation- Home Truths 2016/2017 The housing market in East of England

HIGHLIGHTED CONCERNS In the last few months we have worked hard to design a scheme which we are confident addresses previously highlighted concerns.

WIND Fosters Mill have previously highlighted a concern that the development would threaten the future of the mill. We commissioned WSP Environmental to investigate the wind conditions as it reaches the mill before and after the development. To compile their report, they used 10-year data from the RAF Mildenhall Weather Station, adapted with specialist software to accurately represent the conditions in Swaffham Prior. The chart below shows the frequency and strength at which wind blows towards the mill from each direction. The site is located between 60 and 90 degrees.

Wind comes from the direction of the site 7.2% of the time, and presents the lowest wind speeds.

The north-easterly and easterly wind are not prevailing in the area and therefore are unlikely to be the primary wind resource for the powering of the windmill.

Computational Fluid Dynamics has been used to assess the wind velocity before and after the development along a vertical line above ground.

The chart below shows the average wind speed per direction.

Assuming the mill requires a minimum speed of 4 metres per second to operate, the chart below shows the frequency and directions from which this occurs.


The wind blows from the direction of the site 7.2% of the time. During this period the development would cause the wind speed at the mill to decrease by just 4.9%.

To illustrate this as an example, for east-north-easterly winds at the face of the wind mill: Avg. current wind speed = 4.2 metres per second

Avg. wind speed after development = 4 metres per second.

If the mill requires a minimum wind speed of 4 metres per second, the percentage of time that it would be unable to use wind power to operate due to the development = 0.4%

Both English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) have previously been satisfied that a development creating much larger decreases in wind speed and inoperable time were not considered detrimental to a nearby working windmill. Unlike Fosters Mill, the mill referred to was solely reliant on wind power.


Photomontage views have been produced showing the impact of the development on the existing landscape. We would like to clarify that the perimeter hedge has been made a light green to help illustrate the site boundary. It would be a native species, and its colour would blend in with nearby hedges. The illustrations show a ridge height for the 3-bed houses of 4.8m and the 2-bed houses of 5.5m. The brickwork and roof colour are also items that would be determined at a reserved matters application.

View from Devil's Dyke

View of rear of development

Heritage- The proposal has been looked at in depth by Mr John Selby, who is familiar with the Smock Mill from his previous role as East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Conservation Officer. The conclusion drawn in his report is that the level of harm to designated heritage assets is minimal and “it is considered that the public benefit outweighs the level of harm (if any) caused to the setting of designated heritage assets”.

Highways- Receiving confirmation that the new development could have an entrance that met Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways criteria was an absolutely critical point to us, and had to be in place prior to our involvement. Surveys took place in 2016 and the results have been discussed with the County Council, who confirm that the entrance proposed meets their design criteria to ensure the required visibility splays are present in the position shown. Highways criteria does not require the installation of a roundabout or amendments to the existing Fairview Grove junction. The removal of the hedge in the area of the site entrance has the added benefit of opening the views up to the Smock Mill.

Drainage- Andrew Firebrace Partnership have produced a drainage strategy for the site which complies with local and national guidelines. The foul water drainage can connect to the existing main on Mill Hill, and surface water drainage can be acheived via on-site infiltration. Additionally Groundsure’s Environmental report states that the site’s flood risk is negligible. As the existing sewer main is near the access track leading to the Smock Mill care will be taken to ensure that the new foul water manhole is positioned in a suitable location to ensure the owners of properties on the track are able to access their drive during this work.

The Field Beyond- Some feedback has indicated that it’s not necessarily the principle of development on this particular portion of the field that villagers are concerned about. Instead it is the prospect of larger scale development on the field beyond. To clarify, the land behind would not be in our ownership and does not form part of our application. Only the front portion has been proposed for housing allocation within ECDC’s District Plan. The section of field behind is currently tenanted, and because the field would become landlocked by this development we would have a legal obligation to ensure it can still be accessed.

Social Housing- There are no social housing units proposed because the development size falls below the District Council’s threshold for its inclusion.

Overdevelopment- There are a mixture of 2-bed and 3-bed bungalows, which are appropriately sized. The density of dwellings per hectare is lower than East Camb’s guidelines, so the site would not appear over-crowded.

Bin Storage- This would be outside each dwelling as it is anticipated that the road would be adopted.

Other Concerns- This is an outline rather than a full application. Therefore, some of the design related items such as construction materials and internal layouts, have yet to be determined. There is scope for some details to be amended if necessary when a reserved matters application is submitted.


Cambridge continues to attract people as it thrives, creating the prosperous economy from which we all benefit. There has been a shift in perception as people accept that our population is growing and more housing is required. The attitudes of old are being replaced by a more rational view that people are not against the principle of development, providing it is suitable and well-considered. East Cambridgeshire District Council acknowledges that it is unable to meet its housing targets.

Growth must occur across the whole district, and can’t all be focused on Soham and Littleport. The villages in our area must provide more housing. It is inevitable that if we don’t provide additional dwellings here other sites on the village fringe previously considered unsuitable by the Parish will have to be seriously considered.

This site may sit outside of the current development envelope, but as it is situated between two dwellings it represents a sensible, sustainable infill site. “In some cases, new housing and/or employment development will need to take place on the edge or close to settlements, as there are insufficient opportunities in the built-up parts of settlements to meet identified needs” East Cambridgeshire’s Local Plan (2015)

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS The development has easy access to public transportation.

The Parish Council will receive CIL money to re-invest in facilities in the village.

A local developer who employs local staff and subcontractors, minimising the development's carbon footprint.

Village organisations will likely see an increase in membership.

Minimal work is required to link the site to the local footpath network.

Increased trade for local small businesses.

In Summary Mead Homes Ltd asks you to support this scheme because: It provides a varied mix of the right type of housing.

It will not have a detrimental effect on Fosters Mill, the Smock Mill or Devil’s Dyke.

It will have minimal effect on the village’s iconic views.

It meets CCC Highway’s design criteria.

It is a natural infill plot, with existing dwellings on both sides.

There are no ecological constraints that would adversely affect the development.

There is negligible flood risk.

There is an accessible foul drainage system nearby.

This scheme would deliver more bungalows than have been sold in the village for the past 20 years.

We sincerely hope that after careful consideration, you agree that this scheme would be a positive addition to our village.

Mead Homes Limited Liberty Barns, Heath Rd, Swaffham Prior, CB25 0LA Tel: 01638 742463 Email:

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