Couple's bid to build 'incongruous' house overturned

A house on Wood Street, Chatteris on junction of Eastwood

Graham and Linda Whitley successfully appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after the council refused permission for the house on land south of 59 Wood Street (pictured). - Credit: Google Maps

A couple won the right to build a house in Chatteris that Fenland Council described as “an incongruous addition to the street”.  

Graham and Linda Whitley successfully appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after the council refused permission for the house on land south of 59 Wood Street. 

They first applied to Fenland Council two years ago for a single two-storey home of around 48 square metres on spare garden land.  

They told the council: “The scale of the dwelling would be approximately 8m width, 6m depth, with a ridge height of approximately 8m.”  

In October 2020, Fenland Council rejected it.

They said the house between the “remaining rear garden of 59 Wood Street and the rear gardens of 2 and 4 Eastwood would be an incongruous addition to the street scene.  

“This would impact detrimentally on the open area which contributes to the character of Eastwood in this locality.”  

Eastwood, Chatteris near to house build off Wood Street

Eastwood, Chatteris near to where Graham and Linda Whitley won the right to build a house after appealing Fenland Council's decision to reject. - Credit: Google Maps

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However, planning inspector Kevin Savage has ruled in favour of Mr and Mrs Whitley.  

He said: “Though development is in places intermittent, the overall street scene still appears developed and urban in character.   

"In this context, a further, standalone dwelling would reflect the general pattern of development along Eastwood.”  

He added: “There would remain clear separation between the dwelling and No 59 to one side and 2 Eastwood to the other, that would maintain the overall sense of spaciousness within the street scene.”  

Mr Savage said the garden will be shortened, but that the plans would “not be read as a typical back land development”.  

He also disagreed with the council’s position on the proposed size of the house in relation to its plot size and if sufficient parking space would be provided.  

“I do not share the council’s concern with the dwelling potentially sitting at the back edge of the pavement, given there are examples of this immediately opposite,” said Mr Savage.  

“I am satisfied that a dwelling of suitable size and position could be designed that would reflect the prevailing pattern and character of the built form.”  

Mr Savage concluded: “I conclude that the proposed dwelling would preserve the character and appearance of the area.”