Planners question whether disused sewage site sold off by Fenland Council with an £8,000 asking price is suitable for a two-storey house
PUBLISHED: 13:37 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:32 05 August 2020
A bid has stalled to build a two-storey, three-bedroom home on the site of a former sewage works sold off by Fenland District Council with an £8,000 asking price.
Fenland Council listed the old Anglian Water treatment works at The Pigeons in Front Row, Murrow among a list of ‘surplus to requirements’ sold at an auction in Norwich last October.
“Suitable for garage/parking/amenity use” was how the auctioneers described it but in May an application to build on the site was delivered to Fenland planners.
Mrs G Beecham, of Chatteris, submitted the application but the proposal was withdrawn this week after planners recommended it would be refused on the grounds that the design was out of character for the area and it would overlook nearby homes.
They also insisted a sequential test - which compares the site’s flood risk with other plots available in the area - is carried out.
Neighbours who objected to the proposals claimed the site was not intended as a building plot when it was up for auction.
Instead, they say, it was to meant to be used as the council intended when they sold it: for garages, extra parking or another form of amenity.
One resident said: “The only person to gain is the land owner who bought this pocket of land at an auction, it was never meant for development it was leisure and amenity use only and sold for just £8,000.”
Another said: “The Pigeons is just a small group of bungalows. The proposed development is out of character with the area”.
Others voiced concerns about the home overlooking neighbouring properties which are mainly bungalows, the flood risk and access to the site for large construction vehicles.
A design and access statement explained the works were to involve the demolition of garages and the former pumping station.
Agents Swann Edwards Architecture argued the site met fitted in with planning policy and was suitable because the land had previously been developed.
But Nick Thrower, a council planning officer, raised a number of concerns and was dissatisfied with an updated street scene designs the architect submitted.
“With regard to the street scenes provided, I do not consider that these demonstrate an acceptable character relationship,” he said.
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