Plans to build flats thrown out

PUBLISHED: 16:50 21 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 01 June 2010

PLANS to build 50 flats on a former garage site in Wisbech were thrown out on Wednesday by councillors after a massive outcry supported by Malcolm Moss, the MP for North East Cambs. Councillors lined up to oppose the application for the redevelopment of t

PLANS to build 50 flats on a former garage site in Wisbech were thrown out on Wednesday by councillors after a massive outcry supported by Malcolm Moss, the MP for North East Cambs.

Councillors lined up to oppose the application for the redevelopment of the former West Walton motor site in Elm Road and won the day despite it being recommended for approval.

Andrew Brand, planning officer, had recommended Axiom Housing Association be allowed to go ahead with the proposal "despite some concerns that officers have in relation to the bulk of the scheme".

Mr Brand said he was also concerned about the impact on neighbouring properties but felt overall "the proposal is considered to be acceptable".

However, residents spoke of the problems the scheme would cause because of its height and density as well as car parking issues.

Fenland District Council had received 33 letters of complaint before the meeting, including one from Mr Moss, which also raised concerns of traffic flow along Elm Road, lack of open space, devaluation of property, impact on security and the impact to the adjacent motorcycle business, J B Bikes.

Tony Leech, one of the objectors, said: "It affects our whole lives and the generations following us."

The flats, standing three storeys high, were planned on the site but it would have been the equivalent of 62.5 dwellings per hectare. Despite Fenland District Council's guidelines saying it should be between 30 and 50, it was recommended for approval.

Councillor Ray German said: "Why do they come to us with a recommendation when it is against their own guidelines?" And Councillor Peter Murphy added: "There is no consideration for the houses in the area or the motorcycle shop."

Councillor Kit Owen, portfolio holder for housing, told the committee: "We are urged by the Government to develop brownfield sites and this is doing just that.

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