Up to 80 homes to be built in Wisbech St Mary - despite ‘strong objections’ and a petition of more than 100 signatures

PUBLISHED: 11:51 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 28 August 2018

Councillor Alex Miscandlon, chairman of the planning committee (second left) with officers at the Fenland Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 15. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Councillor Alex Miscandlon, chairman of the planning committee (second left) with officers at the Fenland Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 15. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

HARRY RUTTER

Up to 80 new homes will be built on land in Wisbech St Mary despite a petition of more than 100 signatures.

Up to 80 new homes will be built on land near a nursing home in Wisbech St Mary despite a petition of more than 100 signatures.Up to 80 new homes will be built on land near a nursing home in Wisbech St Mary despite a petition of more than 100 signatures.

Planners at Fenland District Council approved the build for north of Orchard House in High Road at a meeting yesterday (August 15).

The site will see 76 homes, including a mixture of two and three storey dwellings and two blocks of flats with parking, a play area and a new access road.

District councillor Gavin Booth attended the planning committee meeting along with parish councillor Alex Patrick to speak on behalf of residents in the village who “strongly objected” to the plans.

Planning officers said that a petition of 103 signatures raising concerns about flooding had been received along with six letters of objection.

Councillor Dee Laws at the Fenland Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 15. Picture: HARRY RUTTERCouncillor Dee Laws at the Fenland Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 15. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

However, despite councillors debating the application for around 45 minutes – and an initial vote against – plans were forged through with a “heavy heart” due to insufficient reasons to refuse it.

Cllr Booth said: “I have strong objections to this application. This is a large development on the perimeter of Wisbech St Mary.

“There has been a lot of discussion about flooding and there will be a lot of pressure put on services because of this development. Design here is a serious matter.”

Steven Mitchell, applicant, said that the site had previously been approved for 50 houses.

“We want this site to be of benefit for the whole community. We will be managing the area in no cost to the council,” he said.

“Access will not be a problem as we had previous outline approval for this.”

The first vote on the application saw four against the build and two in favour.

Councillor Dee Laws said: “My heart is heavy on this, but I cannot see what it is offering the village at all.

“On principle we will have to approve this but I am so unhappy that we applications like this come before the council again and again for small villages. I see that it offers nothing other than housing.”

Councillor Ian Benney said “to enforce this on a small village would be a detriment to the local community.”

He added: “If I lived in that village I would not want that on my doorstep.”

However, Councillor Will Sutton was in favour of the build throughout, saying flats would be cheaper for first time buyers.

“If we don’t support applications like this then they will come about in the not too distant future in another way.

“Flats will be a lot cheaper for youngsters to purchase.”

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