Controversial plan to build bungalows on site of Manea orchard refused

The proposed site.

The proposed site. - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to build four bungalows on the site of an ancient orchard have been refused.

The proposed site.

The proposed site. - Credit: Archant

Vera Fox, of Peterborough, hoped to build four bungalows on land south and west of Keswick, Station Road, Manea.

The orchard, which hosts eight apple, pear and damson trees, is home to more than 37 species of bird including sparrow hawks, great tits, thrushes and woodpeckers.

Manea Parish Council supported the application, which received five letters of objection, but their decision was overruled by Fenland District Council.

Objectors said the orchard’s removal would have a huge detrimental impact on local wildlife, lead to a loss of green spaces and was not necessary since there are already plans for 100 more homes in the village.

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North East Cambs MP Steve Barclay, a vocal opponent of the proposal, welcomed the decision.

He said: “It is great news that Fenland District Council has decided to block plans for four new bungalows on one of the longest-standing orchards in Manea.

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“I made representations to the council’s planning department after local residents voiced concerns over the impact the planned development could have on wildlife at the site on land west of Keswick, Station Road.

“The orchard has been producing fruit for decades and continues to do so to this day. Traditional orchards are vital for the ecosystem of rural areas likes the Fens and provide a historic link to our agricultural heritage.

“Residents were not only concerned about the impact that the development would have on the local wildlife which relies on the orchard but also the potential effect of building works on the local community.

“As a supporter of preserving our local green spaces, it is a great relief to see that the views of local people are being taken into consideration when planning decisions are made at council level.”

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