Council given green light for housing estate

PUBLISHED: 13:25 04 May 2007 | UPDATED: 22:46 28 May 2010

A FORMER playing field is to become a housing estate after a Government inspector over-ruled objections by Fenland District Council. Forty six homes can now be built on land next to Kingsfield Primary School, at Treeway, Chatteris. The application by Camb

A FORMER playing field is to become a housing estate after a Government inspector over-ruled objections by Fenland District Council.

Forty six homes can now be built on land next to Kingsfield Primary School, at Treeway, Chatteris.

The application by Cambridgeshire County Council provoked a storm of controversy when it was submitted last year and was refused mainly because councillors felt more thought should be given to alternative uses.

However, the planning inspector who heard the inquiry says the site had not been actively used for recreation for the last five years and no plans for using it for open space or sport had been put forward.

"It has never been used as public open space for dual use purposes," he concluded. "It was not included in the open space survey or audit calculations and it has not been identified in any plan as existing or potential open space."

The inspector said it would have limited potential because of its long narrow shape, and although the northern part might be able to contain an under-eights mini-soccer pitch "it would be a rather isolated and restricted outdoor use".

He added: "My conclusions are that in the absence of an identifiable need for more open space and sports facilities, it is unreasonable to defer development of the appeal site."

Although Fenland Council also questioned access to the site, the inspector said this was not a serious problem and did not represent "a compelling or convincing reason for rejecting the application".

The inspector added that there were no district wide implications from the use of this open land for housing, as had been put to him by Fenland Council.

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