Inspector overturns council decision, and gives planning permission for five new flats in Wisbech

A PLANNING inspector has overturned a council decision to refuse planning permission for new flats in Bedford Street at Wisbech.

Members of Fenland District Council’s planning committee had gone against their officers’ advice and turned down an application to demolish Vetsavers and erect four one bedroomed flats and one two bedroomed flat with balconies.

The councillors said the application from the Best Friends Group was overdevelopment of the site, there was insufficient car parking, and the proposal failed to provide 35 per cent affordable housing.

But the applicants went to appeal over the decision, and a planning inspector has concluded that the flats would “complement the character and appearance of the area.”

Inspector Ian Radcliffe also said: “With the enforcement of on street parking controls that are present, the proposal would not result in parking on the road to the extent that the intervisibility between pedestrians and road users would be materially reduced.

“As a consequence, the standard of highway safety would not be adversely affected by the proposal.

He also said: “although the proposed building would be taller than the listed buildings it would be sufficiently far away and set sufficiently back for it not to adversely affect it setting.”

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Councillors had been told by their officers that with most of the Nene Waterfront area being vacant, the flats scheme was “a positive way forward in promoting the viability of the wider regeneration area and in encouraging public hope and confidence”