Chatteris high street set for new estate agents after application approved despite opposition

How the estate agents will look.

How the estate agents will look. - Credit: Archant

Two Fen business partners have been given the green light to set up an estate agents in Chatteris despite opposition from the town council and some residents.

Monique Ketteringham, of Wisbech St Mary, and Tom Payne, of Chatteris, will convert 6 High Street, which is an empty shop, into a small, independent agent after getting permission from Fenland District Council’s planners.

The building dates from the early 19th century and is in a conservation area.

Chatteris Town Council said the town did not need another estate agents and highlighted parking concerns.

Recommending refusal, the council said: “The addition of another estate agent is contrary to Government guidelines on the sustainability of town centres.

“There are traffic concerns over lack of parking provision outside the premises on a bend where there are double yellow lines.”

The proposal sparked a mixed response among residents - six letters of objection highlighted parking problems and questioned the need for another estate agents.

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But four letters of support said the estate agents would create jobs and be an improvement on an empty shop in a town where there are already many unoccupied shops.

Defending the proposal, Mrs Ketteringham said: “We will base our business on local knowledge and great service. We are not aiming to be the biggest agent in the area and we will hopefully be able to employ local people.

“There is ample parking within the town and we strongly believe there would be far more parking issues if it was to remain as a retail shop, with people ‘popping’ in to whatever shop was to be placed there, increasing the risk of parking down residential streets.”

The officer’s report, approving the application, said: “It is considered that the nature of the use will ensure continued promotion of the viability and vitality of the town centre shopping area. It will support the town’s drive towards economic growth.

“The proposal is not anticipated to adversely impact upon neighbouring properties or the area and is considered to respect the character and appearance of the conservation area in which it is set.”

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