Controversial 158 home development in Whittlesey approved

A controversial development for 158 homes in Whittlesey has been unanimously approved.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 4:58 am

Outline planning permission had previously been granted to Taylor Wimpey East Midlands for the site at the former Eastfield Nursery in Eastrea Road, and Fenland District Council recently recommended that full permission be granted with the outstanding matters resolved.

This is despite the authority receiving 104 separate objections from local residents, while Whittlesey Town Council also registered its disapproval of the plans.

However, on Wednesday the council’s Planning Committee unanimously approved the proposals.

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A location plan for the development
A location plan for the development

According to a report published ahead of the meeting, the main objection related to a proposed footway from Charles Road which the council said was “considered to be important in providing community cohesion, sustainable travel options and improving security through additional surveillance in the area”.

The report stated that Taylor Wimpey East Midlands has proposed to contribute £30,000 for the controversial footway, including fencing and street lighting.

It added: “It is acknowledged that introducing a link here would likely increase footfall through the Charles Road estate e.g. school and commuter trips, and residents will likely notice an increase in people circulating in the area.

“However, officers consider that this is not a sufficient reason alone to avoid securing this infrastructure which would future-proof the development in terms of sustainable travel options and enhance community cohesion.”

The development is earmarked for land to the south of Eastrea Road, off the existing roundabout.

It will sit directly opposite a Larkfleet residential development to the north, accessed via Dandelion Drive, and will be close to Gildenburgh Water.

It will include children’s play equipment as well as a foot and cycle path linking it to open public space, while the properties will be largely two-storey.

The original planning permission was for 169 properties, but this has been reduced to 158 due to proposed changes to the application in the final stages.