Children’s nursery at centre of neighbour row looks set to be approved

17:37 29 January 2014

Diane Oswold. Picture: Steve Williams.

Diane Oswold. Picture: Steve Williams.

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A children’s nursery, which sparked a neighbour’s row when it was discovered that the vice chairman of Fenland District Council Planning Committee was urging colleagues to vote against it, looks set to be approved.

Councillor David Connor lives next door and has a strong personal interest in the matter so should not have got involved in the discussion.

However, he asked fellow councillors to vote against his neighbour’s application to turn her Doddington home in to a nursery for up to 40 children.

In a meeting next month planning committee members are being asked to give the Benwick Road scheme the go-ahead.

The nursery is being recommended for approval providing no more than 12 children go in the garden at any one time to help reduce noise.

“It is acknowledged that there would be an element of noise and disturbance to the adjoining neighbouring properties,” a report states.

“The proposed mitigation measures, site layout, reduction in number of children and subject to the use of appropriate planning conditions, it is considered that the impact on the neighbouring properties would not be so adverse as to warrant a refusal on this basis.”

Businesswoman Diane Oswald revealed that the current dispute with the Fenland and Cambridgeshire councillor is the latest in a series of issues with him in recent years.

Two years ago Mr Connor was involved in an unsuccessful county court case in respect of a boundary dispute when a district judge ruled that the boundaries were in accordance with Mrs Oswald’s Land Registry title plan and not where Mr Connor thought it should be.

And Mrs Oswald was also given permission to demolish a fence erected by Mr Connor and replace it with a fence of her choice on the correct boundary line.

Trouble flared again last summer over another boundary when Mr Connor wrote to Mrs Oswald stating that unless she removed or shortened it he would report her to the planning department at Fenland Hall with a view to enforcement.

A report into the nursery application says that an existing garage and a 2.2 metre high fence will help provide screening.

A 16-space car park area is away from adjoining properties and will help reduce noise.

The proposed change of use application was expected to be approved under delegated powers when it was first submitted last year and a handful of objections looked to have been satisfied when Mrs Oswald agreed to reduce her original application from 60 places to 40.

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of Fenland planning committee on February 5.

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