Town centre home scheme is turned down - despite getting permission four years ago
17:26 21 January 2014
Eight terrace homes, which were previously given the go ahead, have been refused after the landowner put in an application to renew expired planning permission.
Two blocks of four terrace car park-free homes were turned down on land at the back of The Griffin Hotel in March after councillors said it would create over development.
They were also concerned that due to a lack of parking spaces homeowners would use the hotel car park leading to over use of the narrow access on to March High Street.
The scheme, which involved an eight-home build with no parking spaces, was given the go ahead in 2010 when the then landowner, councillor Steve Count, applied for permission.
Now, however, four years later, the permission has expired, yet new landowner Trade Recruitment, has been turned down.
The scheme involved building two blocks of two-bedroom, two-storey homes with cycle storage on an overgrown rectangle package of land at the back of the town centre hotel.
The plan looked set to be given the green light but in a last minute move at a recent planning meeting councillors turned the idea down.
A report prepared by planning officers said there was plenty of car parking 200 metres away in City Road car park and by building a car-free zone it would encourage people to use public transport instead.
“Access to the dwellings would be for pedestrians and cycles only and as such no parking is provided,” said a report which recommended the idea to be approved.
It said the homes were within walking distance of shops, schools, employment, health facilities and public transport so did not need parking.
“This proposal provides an efficient use of a vacant and underused area of land within the town centre of March,” the report added.