Fenland planners reject two homes in Christchurch claiming no justification and querying public consultation

Fenland District Council.

Fenland District Council. - Credit: Archant

A woman living next to field in Christchurch where a farmer wanted to build two homes criticised his agent for claiming the “sustainability of existing services” in the village.

Linda Webster told Fenland Council: “I am at a loss as to what these services might be. The village has a church, public house and school (which is full) and a new community centre.

“But there is no bus service, the village shop recently closed and a mobile post office calls for roughly 45 minutes each weekday.”

Council planners agreed and also felt farmer Paul Russell of Grovebury Lodge, Walpole St Peter, had not consulted properly with residents over the proposed homes in Padgetts Road.

Officers accepted a questionnaire and drawings had gone to neighbouring properties but said it was unclear how many actually received details.

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The council says 11 responses were received showing seven in support and four against and Mr Russell said a site notice had been put up.

But planners say it is “not possible determine whether the community consultation was thorough and proportionate as there is a lack of evidence within the submission.”

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The council also felt the homes would harm the character of the area, would exceed the threshold of new homes proposed for the village, and Mr Russell had offered no evidence to justify these extra homes.

Officers also agreed the village lacked services and it would be inevitable the new owners would need cars – contrary to the principle of sustainable development.

Another neighbour said 47 sites had been built on or had received planning consent in recent years and if all got built would exceed recommendations of the local plan.

They also felt that if two homes were allowed on the site – where horses currently roam freely- “what would happen to the other four acres behind them?”

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