Fenland planners decide two houses at Leverington built with ‘differences/inconsistencies’ to what was agreed can stay

Tenant of house at 55 The Chase, Leverington Rd, Wisbech wrote to Fenland Council planners asking t

Tenant of house at 55 The Chase, Leverington Rd, Wisbech wrote to Fenland Council planners asking them not to force the demolition of the family home. PHOTO: Archant - Credit: Archant

Two houses not built in accordance with the plans approved by Fenland Council can stay after officials concluded they will “not adversely harm the character and appearance of the area”.

Planners also agreed the homes would not affect the amenity of other residents or future occupants.

The decision will come as a relief to Nick Baines whose East Anglian Developments UK Ltd company was told both had not been built out in accordance with the plans previously agreed by Fenland Council.

Differences and inconsistencies were set out in a report by a council planning officer who said the houses at 55 The Chase, Leverington, had not been built to the required finished floor level.

The Environment Agency said they “cannot advise that this development will be safe from tidal flood risk over the lifetime” of the houses and advised planners to ensure defences were improved.

There were also fears expressed about sewerage and sewage disposal systems.

Planners who considered the retrospective application said the original application was part of larger scale proposals first agreed in 2009.

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They agreed that proposal flood mitigation measures, although retrospective, were “on balance” acceptable and proportionate.

The council was told that nine letters of support were received and there were two letters of objection.

Among supporters was housewife Choel Hawkins who penned a letter to the council urging them not to make her landlord tear down her home.

Mrs Hawkins lives in one of two houses and said her landlord Mr Baines had made her aware that should the application be refused “there is a possibility we lose our home.

“As you can imagine this has made my husband and I extremely anxious and the future for ourselves and our five children is completely unknown.

“This just doesn’t affect our home; this affects every aspect of our children’s lives.”

She added: “My husband, four children and I moved into a new build on the same plot as the proposed planning in 2015. Our children attend the local primary school and nursery. They are also members of several clubs within a few miles of our homes. We welcomed our fifth child in November 2016 and are thrilled to have completed our family.

“We are fully aware just how hard it is to find a home for large families such as ours and it is so refreshing to see someone like Nicholas improving the area with a small number of executive homes rather than a large number of high density affordable homes.”

Mrs Hawkins said after speaking with neighbours “it is clear that Nicholas went off his own back to meet the wishes of the local residents which they are clearly very grateful for.

“As a community we are incredibly excited to see the project complete which I have no doubt will improve the area as well as providing high quality housing.”