Government inspector dismisses appeal for 41 flats and four houses on Patsy Brewin’s former home

PUBLISHED: 12:02 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:02 16 July 2020

The home of former mayor Patsy Brewin could be demolished to make way for up to 41 flats. Picture: ARCHANT

The home of former mayor Patsy Brewin could be demolished to make way for up to 41 flats. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A government planning inspector has rejected an appeal to build 41 flats and four houses on the former March home of the late Patsy and George Brewin.

Patsy Brewin’s house ‘could have been nursing home’ - but 41 flats bid is rejected. Planners discussed the application at Fenland Hall on November 6. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSPatsy Brewin’s house ‘could have been nursing home’ - but 41 flats bid is rejected. Planners discussed the application at Fenland Hall on November 6. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A government planning inspector has rejected an appeal to build 41 flats and four homes on the former March home of the late Patsy and George Brewin.

The appeal was submitted by the executors of Mrs Brewin’s will after Fenland District Council’s planning committee refused the application last November.

Councillors went against officer recommendations to approve outline plans for the development which would involve knocking down the past March mayors former home, Brewin Oaks.

But Zoe Ragen, appointed by the Secretary of State to investigate, dismissed the appeal in a final report published on Tuesday (July 14).

Patsy Brewin returned home at the weekend on wrong mobility scooter.Patsy Brewin returned home at the weekend on wrong mobility scooter.

In it, Ms Ragen says the amount of affordable housing being delivered was unclear.

She writes: “With no mechanism to secure affordable housing, public open space, or contributions to education and libraries, the proposal would fail to comply with the relevant development plan policies.”

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Cambridgeshire County Council had also raised concerns that nearby nurseries and primary schools are at capacity and would struggle to accommodate children moving into the homes.

To address this, £408,500 was requested from the development as well as £10,010 to improve facilities at March library.

“However, no [Section 106 Agreement] has been submitted as part of the appeal, despite the appellants agreeing to enter into one,” Ms Ragen said.

In other areas of her report, she also concluded that the development would not impact the character and appearance of the area.

Mrs Brewin died five years ago and her will outlined intentions for her town centre home to be sold to benefit future generations of students.

Once funeral and other expenses were met this money would be handed over to the March Educational Foundation to support children to attend university.

But when plans to build on the site were submitted, residents raised 79 objections to the proposals.

Mrs Brewin, who was a primary school teacher at Dartford Infants and Maple Grove, was a March town councillor for many years and was once described as the town’s answer to Maggie Thatcher.

With husband George, who died in 2008, they owned a shop in High Street and also ran Brewins Funeral Directors.


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