Controversial 158 home development in Whittlesey recommended for approval

A controversial development for 158 homes in Whittlesey has been recommended for approval.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 6:05 am

Outline planning permission has previously been granted to Taylor Wimpey East Midlands for the site at the former Eastfield Nursery in Eastrea Road, and Fenland District Council has now 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 has also registered its disapproval of the plans.

A decision will be made by the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, March 31.

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

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

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

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

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

The report also notes that the archery club OOBAC Archers in New Road has “expressed concerns that the increase in residents may result in an increase in vandalism to their site”.

However, it concludes: “Officers consider it would be unreasonable to assume that occupiers of this site would increase the risk of vandalism and ASB (anti-social behaviour).”

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.