Homes plan U-turn'

PUBLISHED: 14:24 19 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:12 01 June 2010

The former West Walton Motor Company site, where 45 homes are to be built, despite protests from neighbours.Picture: PETER UPTON

The former West Walton Motor Company site, where 45 homes are to be built, despite protests from neighbours.Picture: PETER UPTON

URGENT need for more low-cost housing has swung the decision in favour of a housing complex to be built in Wisbech against the wishes of neighbours. Opponents thought they had won the day when MP Malcolm Moss supported them and Fenland District Council th

URGENT need for more low-cost housing has swung the decision in favour of a housing complex to be built in Wisbech against the wishes of neighbours.

Opponents thought they had won the day when MP Malcolm Moss supported them and Fenland District Council threw out two applications.

But in a dramatic announcement this week, a Government inspector allowed an appeal by Axiom Housing Association to build 45 homes on the former West Walton Motor Company site off Elm Road.

Tony Wood said he was heavily influenced by Axiom's decision to alter to 100 per cent the proportion of affordable housing to be built there, subject to getting maximum funding from the Housing Corporation.

Mr Wood described it as an "important material consideration" in determining two appeals, which sought to overturn Fenland Council's refusal to allow either 50 or 36 homes to be built on the site.

Axiom revised its most optimistic requirement to 45 homes, and it is this application - bitterly contested by 33 objectors as well as Mr Moss, MP for North-East Cambridgeshire - that has won the day.

Council officers were happy with the proposals, but the council planning committee rejected both schemes after protests about density, height, overlooking, noise, parking and lack of open space.

Mr Wood dismissed fears over the homes intruding into people's privacy, claiming the "size, scale, height and appearance of the proposal would be acceptable in this location".

He also dismissed fears about parking in the area, saying the provision agreed in the proposals "comply with more recent advice, and are acceptable in this respect".

Axiom was first refused permission last March for 50 homes, refused permission last September for 36 homes, and only finally obtained consent this March for 29 homes.

No-one from Axiom was available for comment at the time of going to press.

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