As Fenland Council prepares to share its planning department with Peterborough, THEY are looking to merge with Lincolnshire

The planning committee meeting in February. Picture: Steve Williams

The planning committee meeting in February. Picture: Steve Williams - Credit: Archant

An extraordinary coincidence has resulted in Fenland District Council revealing its planning officers may join Peterborough City Council at the same moment as talks were confirmed of a possible joint Peterborough and Lincolnshire ‘super council’.

The rush to shared services in Fenland was revealed in a letter from council leader John Clark and two cabinet colleagues as they prepare to brief councillors on July 9

Cllr Clark said the merger of planning officers into Peterborough would be “an extension of the successful relationship” the council had in delivering the Local Plan.

Now talks were being held to see “whether or not a proposal could be developed that could deliver a shared planning team across both councils”.

He said: “In future there is also potential for the partnership to become an income generator to both councils.

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“The proposal will not change the sovereignty of either council and therefore Fenland will retain its own dedicated planning committee.”

Meanwhile Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich confirmed talks have opened to share services with Lincolnshire county council that might one day lead to a merger.

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Peterborough City Council has been a unitary authority since 1998 and Cllr Hildich believes there is no appetite to return to being part of Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cllr Clark said locally Fenland has already succeeded in delivering savings through a number of successful partnerships for planning policy, housing strategy, community hubs in Chatteris and Whittlesey, revenues and benefits and building control.

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