May 18 2013 Latest news:
By John Elworthy , The Editor
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
PLANNERS says Wisbech will gain nothing by replacing a fire ravaged “modest detached cottage with a very large, ostentatious mock Georgian building”
Fenland planners heaped scorn on the proposal by Essex businessman Minaxi Ray to demolish the four bedroom house and build a three-storey, seven bedroom home complete with balcony.
The house which Mr Ray owns is known as Riverview along South Brink, Wisbech, and was destroyed by fire in 2009.
His plans though would exceed Fenland Council’s criteria which insist new homes should be no larger than 130 per cent of the original.
“Serious concerns are raised with regard to the scale and design of the replacement,” says a report by officers.
Peter Humphreys, the agent who submitted the application, described the new home as acting as a “gateway site when approaching Wisbech on the main A47”. Planners don’t buy into his thoughts.
“It is considered that the mix-up of styles, including the Venetian 17th century window, the mock Georgian appearance and the full length window on the front elevation, do nothing to reflect the character of Wisbech,” says the report.
“Not only will this confused appearance appear incongruous within its immediate setting but it also fails to promote or complement the town as a whole.”
Last year Council Leader Alan Melton argued that Fenland needed to allow more luxury and executive homes to encourage more businessmen to move here.
He said he knew nothing of this application and would launch an inquiry.
Mr Humphrey said the proposals are for a “significant detached house of Georgian
style and detail which will do justice to this large prominent site”.
He said that whilst the replacement presents a “significant uplift” in size it incorporates details from similar large homes in the area.