New proposal follows end to lengthy dispute

MP Steve Barclay with Whittlesey Town Councillor Dee Laws at the appeal over the Showfield site
MP Steve Barclay with Whittlesey Town Councillor Dee Laws at the appeal over the Showfield site
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Developers who lost a lengthy planning dispute which provoked strong resistance have submitted a new application on the same site.

A government planning inspector ruled in November last year that an application to build 249 houses on the Showfield site, in land east of East Delph in Whittlesey, could not go ahead, mainly due to the risk of flooding.

The ruling came after the original application in December 2013 was rejected by Fenland District Council before land owners Showfields Ltd appealed.

The application was labelled as “one of the worst I have ever seen,” by North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay.

Campaigners from the Showfield Action Group raised in excess of £15,000 to fight the application. The money enabled them to employ planning lawyers, expert witnesses and a barrister.

Showfields Ltd’s new application to the council would allow for up to 220 homes to be built, but only on land identified by the Environment Agency as being in the low-risk Flood Zone 1.

A second application has also been put forward. This would enable up to 23 acres of land near the Showfield site to be a community nature park.

Showfields Ltd say it intends to gift the land to the community, as well as provide financial assistance to turn it into a park with new points of access, more wildlife habitats and greater biodiversity.

There are no current time frames for the applications.

A spokesman for the Showfields Ltd said: “We listened carefully to the views of the planning inspector and the community.

“Our renewed application has been submitted to Fenland District Council and we look forward to working with the local community on our revised proposals.”