Fenland planning committee follows the leader and approves countryside house

HE promised development boundaries were no longer sacrosanct and now the planning committee has taken Fenland District Council leader Alan Melton at his word and approved a house in the countryside.

The committee accepted proposals for a two-bedroom bungalow on a brownfield site at the junction of Barton Road and Panswell Lane, Wisbech.

Twenty months after they threw out the plans first time round, the committee has approved a scheme under what one councillor termed afterwards “the leader’s aspirations” for improving Fenland.

David Broker put an application before the June committee which was deferred to give him time to come up with a better design.

At last week’s committee Mr Broker put forward a new scheme which officers said felt met their criteria but since it fell outside of the development boundary they still felt the need to recommend it for refusal.

However, the committee agreed with Councillor David Oliver that the area is expanding in terms of development and the bungalow would be in keeping.

Mr Broker said the site was formerly part of the land owned by T Coleman fruit grower and was previously part of the apple packing station immediately to the north, now the site of Dave Parrin Car Sales.

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He said Barton Lodge was part of this enterprise and the applicant, Alan Hircock, had lived there for 36 years but now wanted to move to a more manageable home.

Mr Broker said he was delighted councillors had considered the personal needs of the applicant.

He said Mr Hircock is registered blind and suffers from acute angina and a single storey home “would greatly enhance his living conditions”.

He said of the area that “this is where he plans to stay. He has a close association with all his near neighbours in this small group of houses and businesses”.