WISBECH: Ferry Project scheme for portacabins to solve space crisis is refused by planners

Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY A CHARITY providing support for the homeless in Fenland has been refused permission to bring in portacabins to solve a space crisis. The Ferry Project at 24-27 Hope House, Mill Close, Wisbech, wanted to use two linked portacabins t

Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY

A CHARITY providing support for the homeless in Fenland has been refused permission to bring in portacabins to solve a space crisis.

The Ferry Project at 24-27 Hope House, Mill Close, Wisbech, wanted to use two linked portacabins to provide a kitchen/dining, counselling rooms and a training workshop.

But Fenland planners have ruled that the portacabins pose a flood risk and rejected the application.


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The Environment Agency said the application by the Ferry Project - part of the Luminus social housing group - had not fully assessed flood risk issues.

"Since the EA is a statutory consultee, the application cannot be approved on the basis of their objection as flood risk is a major issue in this location," said the council in their ruling on the application.

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The Ferry Project had claimed that using portacabins was the only way to solve a short-term problem. A permanent building would be costly and in the long term would become redundant.

The charity had claimed that the portacabins would be well screened, the area was level, was finished with tarmac and since none of the residents had cars the site was not being used for parking.

The application had been recommended for refusal by Wisbech Town Council, which claimed it was an inappropriate location "and would not encourage social cohesion".

n Wisbech Town Council also recommended refusal for two portacabins at Boat Yard, Crab Marsh, Wisbech, for Fenland District Council.

The town council argued that the portacabins had been in use since 2005, providing showers and toilets for site visitors, but wanted permanent facilities put up instead.

However, Fenland planners argued that the portacabins "have no detrimental aesthetic impact on the site or surrounding area" and agreed to a three-year extension.

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