Another chance to suggest where new homes and business spaces could be built in Fenland

PUBLISHED: 12:36 03 August 2020

Fenland District Council releases a second 'call for sites' as it prepares to shape the next Local Plan. Images: Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council releases a second 'call for sites' as it prepares to shape the next Local Plan. Images: Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council

Landowners and developers are being offered another opportunity to suggest where new homes and business spaces could be created across Fenland.

Chatteris town centre. Fenland District Council is updating its Local Plan, which shapes how Fenland will be developed in the future. Pictures: Fenland District Council.Chatteris town centre. Fenland District Council is updating its Local Plan, which shapes how Fenland will be developed in the future. Pictures: Fenland District Council.

Fenland District Council’s second ‘call for sites’ is underway as it develops a new Local Plan, which will shape how the area will be developed in the future.

The plan will also outline the planning policies that will be used to make decisions on planning applications over the next 20 years.

An initial ‘call for sites’ was released in October last year, but the coronavirus pandemic has led officials to re-think the scheme’s timetable and delay the draft plan for public release by six months.

Cllr Dee Laws, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “At the start of the year work was progressing well towards a draft version of the Local Plan, but due to the pandemic its preparation has been unfortunately delayed.

An aerial view of Doddington, near March. The Local Plan outlines the planning policies that will be used to make decisions on planning applications over the next 20 years. Pictures: Fenland District Council.An aerial view of Doddington, near March. The Local Plan outlines the planning policies that will be used to make decisions on planning applications over the next 20 years. Pictures: Fenland District Council.

“While it is essential we carry on preparing a plan to shape the future of the district through to 2040, there might have to be some changes to take into account post-coronavirus conditions.

“Due to the current economic uncertainty we are now carrying out a second call for sites to ensure suggested sites are available, viable and deliverable, particularly during the first five years of the plan.”

Work on the Local plan had largely been delayed evidence needed to support its publication - such as site visits and traffic surveys - were unable to take place during lockdown.

The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the lasting impact it may have on the housing market were also among the reasons a second ‘call for sites’ was released.

Lattersey Nature Reserve near Whittlesey. Pictures: Fenland District Council.Lattersey Nature Reserve near Whittlesey. Pictures: Fenland District Council.

The number of houses needed in future, the building and purchasing of new homes and land availability together with updated planning policies are among the areas that may need to be considered further.

This weekend, the Government’s housing minister announced new homes and hospitals will be granted “automatic” permission to be built as part of planning reforms in England.

Robert Jenrick announced a “permission in principle” will be granted to developments meeting certain criteria to speed-up the building process.

Fenland District Council’s latest call for sites consultation will run for six weeks, until Tuesday, September 8. More information is available on the council’s website.

The draft Local Plan is now expected to be ready for public consultation in February 2021. It aims to be adopted in November 2022.


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