Whittlesey planning appeal rejected by government inspector

Steve Barclay MP with Denise Laws.

Steve Barclay MP with Denise Laws.

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Campaigners who raised over £15,000 to fight a planning appeal are celebrating after being told they have been successful.

Government inspector Christina Downes ruled last week that a plan to build 249 houses on land east of East Delph in Whittlesey should not go ahead.

The Showfield site which developers want to build on.

The Showfield site which developers want to build on.

The risk of flooding was given as the main reason to reject the appeal by Showfield Developments Ltd.

Ashley Jones, chairman of the Showfield Action Group who fought the appeal, said: “We are naturally delighted with the result.

“The hearing was very thorough and all parties were permitted to give their views. We are not anti-development, but this location adjacent to the flood plain is not appropriate.”

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, who spoke at the appeal and organised a petition against the proposal, believes it is one of the worst he had ever seen.

He wrote on his website: “I am delighted that the Planning Inspector has listened to local residents and councillors and that common sense has prevailed.

“It simply is not viable to build developments such as this on sites which have a known history of flooding.

“My thanks go to all of those who signed the petition and in particular to cllr Dee Laws, cllrs Mr & Mrs Mayor, county cllr Martin Curtis, and all those who helped win this campaign.”

The original planning application was rejected by Fenland District Council in December 2013 and the appeal was heard in September. Other concerns apart from flooding included traffic generation, highway safety and the effect on the Nene Washes.

Inspector Downes said: “In view of my conclusions on flood risk it seems to me unnecessary to consider whether there are additional harmful impacts for the purposes of this decision.”