Planning inspector dismisses appeal to build homes at Leverington after claiming they would give ‘cramped’ appearance

Aerial photo used by John Buckle showing extent of development in part of Leverington. He used the p

Aerial photo used by John Buckle showing extent of development in part of Leverington. He used the photo to argue his case at a planning appeal. - Credit: Archant

A man who spent 42 years teaching construction has failed in his 12 month bid to build three homes in Leverington.

John Buckle of Walpole St Peter was born and brought up in Leverington and wanted to build the homes north of 146 Leverington Common.

“I appreciate the effects that change does have on people and their built environment,” he told the parish council. “Apprehension, frustration, even anger towards those they see responsible for proposing change.

“However we all experience these changes in life but after the dust has settled we often wonder why we were so concerned.”

He had argued that development changes were far more acceptable to the majority if they are managed in small bites “as long as they meet the planning policy framework, which I believe this application is now fully compliant with”.

However the parish council was among those to oppose the application which was later refused by Fenland Council.

Mr Buckle then went to the Planning Inspectorate but his appeal has been dismissed.

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Chris Forrett, the inspector, said the homes would give a “cramped” appearance and the contrast with existing new homes would be too great.

He felt Mr Buckle’s application “would lead to unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the area”.

The inspector also argued that the application “would fail to minimise flood risk”.

He said: “I am not persuaded that there are not other more suitable sites for the proposed development in the area.”

Mr Buckle said: “The development would make good use of a piece of land that has remained barren for many years and in a small way would help to meet the housing need for local people.”

He added: “From personal experience of crime that has taken place in close proximity to 146 Leverington Common – where I lived for many year- the very nature of in depth development could in all likelihood bring increase security for the surrounding settlement.

“Wide open areas make access to people’s property easier under non-existent or poor lighting.”