30 homes for Elm win approval after Planing Inspectorate overturns refusal by Fenland District Council

Planning Inspectorate over rules Fenland Council and approves 30 homes for Henry Warby Avenue, Elm

Planning Inspectorate over rules Fenland Council and approves 30 homes for Henry Warby Avenue, Elm - Credit: Archant

The Planning Inspectorate has overruled Fenland planners to allow 30 homes to be built at Elm.

Fenland Council argued against the housing estate proposed for north of 38 Henry Warby Avenue, claiming the village had already reached it growth targets.

The council also claimed nearby homes would be “adversely impacted” by the increase in cars entering and leaving the estate as well the noise and disturbance.

Fenland planners also said the application – by local property company Gemdome Ltd- had not offered any funding towards increase infrastructure, education and waste costs.

However Jonathan Parsons, the Government appointed inspector, said fears of disturbance were not sufficient for the appeal to be rejected. He said that by taking the council’s highest projection of 180 car movements a day there would only be around 10 per cent of these at peak times.

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“The increased levels of traffic would not harm the living conditions of the occupiers of neighbouring properties significant levels of noise and disturbance,” he said.

He said agreement had been reached with the developers to pay £15,000 towards the provision of off-site affordable housing, £40,000 education costs and £5,000 towards waste management.

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He said if the developers were forced to make a “full contribution” of 25 per cent of the housing as affordable this would “hinder” it being built.

On this basis, he said, he found the contribution offered to be “fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development”.

Mr Parsons added that county council estimates show a reduction in birth rates in Elm in the next four years that would free up capacity at the primary school and so therefore higher contributions could not be justified for education.

There was also an argument as to whether there was community support for the scheme but Mr Parsons said, conversely, there was also no clear identification of “adverse impacts”.

Gemdome solicitors had argued that a public consultation on November 5, 2015, had been attended by 100-110 people and of 83 responses, 55 per cent were in support.

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