Homes given the go ahead for former Pike Textiles site in Wisbech
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Early planning permission for a housing development on the former site of Pike Textile Display in Wisbech has been given the go-ahead by councillors.
At Fenland District Council’s first planning committee using video conferencing, councillors unanimously agreed that 21 homes can be built on the North End site close to the town’s Asda supermarket.
Concerns had been raised about flood risk and drainage because the site is located in a Flood Zone 3 area, which is the highest risk. But late correspondence from Anglia Water reassured councillors this could be resolved.
Councillor Nick Meekins, whose ward the development is located within, added: “About the flood risk, the last time the River Nene actually flooded in Wisbech was 1978.
“Following that, they built a wall that was supposed to stop any flooding events for once in a century and about 10 years ago they upped that wall so it’s now one event in a millennium.”
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He added there are also “water tight flood gates” very close to the site.
Other issues discussed included parking arrangement, traffic management and the development’s Section 106 agreement, which outlines 25pc of homes will be affordable housing, a £30,000 contribution to local education and £1,800 for Wisbech Park.
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Councillor Andrew Lynn said: “This site has been left sitting pretty much empty for quite a long time now and nobody has come forward to do anything with it.
“I’m also happy to see they have come to some sort of decision to 106 where recently we’ve seen a lot [of developments] with no 106 for.”
Councillor Meekins did query the split on the Section 106 contributions to education as around two-thirds of the cash is allocated to Ramnoth Junior School and one-third for Peckover Primary School, which is closer to the development.
“I doubt you’d be getting children from this development going to Ramnoth school,” he said.
But Nick Harding, head of planning at Fenland District Council, explained the council “can seek contributions for school extensions that have been forward-funded by the local education authority”.
Intricate details about the plans - such as housing layout and their design - will be revealed by developers in future planning applications.