July 24 2014 Latest news:
Kath Sansom, .
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A residents’ action group say they are “very shocked” at the one vote margin which will allow 150 homes at Whittlesey after it had previously been unanimously rejected.
Michael Wollaston, chairman of the Snowley Park and Glenfields Residents Action Group, said the application was rushed through “and took no notice of increased flood risk - the land is in flood zone three, the highest risk zone.”
The action group has urged residents to write to planning minister Nick Boles to have the application “called in” and independently investigated.
He said new application by Gladman Developments has been approved before an appeal on their previous refusal could go ahead.
Mr Wollaston said: “Whittlesey Town Council has been consistent by continually raising strong objections and supporting their residents.
“The decision to approve was made by planning members who are elected councillors in Wisbech, March and Chatteris.
“These planning members do not know our area and yet are prepared to permit exiting Whittlesey residents to be put at further risk of flooding.”
He said: “The cheapest form of flood defence is not to build on or next to a flood plain.”
MP Steve Barclay had supported residents and had reported those concerns to the developers.
But planning applications were for “elected councillors rather than a Member of Parliament and I respect that as part of their function within local democracy. “However, I am obviously disappointed that they have chosen to ignore my representations of the views of local residents in this case.”
The application was recommended for approval by planning officers and agreed by a 5-4 vote last month by the planning committee.
The committee agreed that no development can take place until a drainage strategy has been submitted.
Under a separate agreement Gladman will pay £23,800 for secondary education, provide public open space, give £11,186 to the town transport strategy, give ten one-day tickets for public transport to each home, pay £25,000 for watercourse surveys and maintenance and a quarter of the site is given over to affordable housing.