'Nothing more than a rubbish tip' says Chatteris councillor of site in Wisbech now approved for block of flats by Fenland planners

PUBLISHED: 12:32 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 29 April 2019

The site east of 13 Norfolk Street, facing Orange Grove, Wisbech, and the owner can no go ahead with building a three-storey block of flats. Picture; PLANNING

The site east of 13 Norfolk Street, facing Orange Grove, Wisbech, and the owner can no go ahead with building a three-storey block of flats. Picture; PLANNING

Archant

A piece of land in Wisbech that was described by a Chatteris councillor as "nothing more than a rubbish tip" has been approved for housing.

The site is east of 13 Norfolk Street, facing Orange Grove, Wisbech, and the owner can no go ahead with building a three-storey block of flats.

A year ago it was refused but Fenland District Council planning committee agreed with their officers that the changes made it acceptable.

The application follows on from an earlier delegated refusal on grounds of concerns raised by Heritage England on the impact the site may have in an area of high archaeological potential, situated as it is just southeast of the medieval settlement site of Wisbech Castle.

There were also concerns from the police as the area suffers from high occurrences of anti-social behaviour.

Wisbech Town Council objected on the grounds of overdevelopment and it would result in overlooking and a loss of light to nearby properties.

They also complained about lack of on-site parking.

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Planning refusal a year ago was on the basis that the building was overbearing at 9.7m high, and there were no facilities for bins or bin collection.

The current application is now 2m lower, and has a specific bin storage area and collection zone, so has overcome the reasons for the refusal.

Planning officer Alison Hoffman said: “The applicant is the owner of the Five Bells public house which is a Grade II listed building having been built in 1745.

“We have received a late objection from the tenant of the public house on the basis that the new building will not have sufficient fire escape routes and faces onto a dangerous dual carriageway.

“The land at the rear of the public house measures just 9m by 10m, and is currently fenced-off. A two-storey, 7.5m high building will be erected.”

Cllr Peter Murphy (Conservative, Wenneye Ward Chatteris) said: “This is a totally unused piece of ground that is nothing more than a rubbish tip at the moment. I think this is the best thing that could be put there to be honest as it tidies up the area.”

This application was approved by majority.

The committee was told that a statement from the county council said the application came forward with zero parking. They recommended Fenland Council obtain a parking survey “so that the impact of this zero parking development is understood and any implications the proposal may have on residential amenity and kerbside parking/public parking within the area”. The county council had no highways objection

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