Haulier Tony Knowles refused permission for new grain store at Wimblington - despite parish council's claims it would improve a 'derelict' site

PUBLISHED: 15:46 13 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:46 13 January 2016

Knowles application site

Knowles application site

Archant

Haulage boss Councillor Tony Knowles has been refused permission for a new grain store in Wimblington.

The map extract below highlights the proximity of the proposed grain store building in 
relation to the Grade II Listed building, split by the A141. There is also an existing row of mature trees within the church yard.The map extract below highlights the proximity of the proposed grain store building in relation to the Grade II Listed building, split by the A141. There is also an existing row of mature trees within the church yard.

The planning committee of Fenland Council agreed with officers that it is too big and threatens harm to the character and appearance of the area.

Fenland District Council planning committee was also asked to refuse the application on other grounds- notably because of a poor access and the threat of surface water potential flooding.

The issue ignited the council chamber at Fenland Hall today since Wimblington Parish Council said it supported says its support the local businessman and parish councillor’s application.

The parish council felt highway issues had been addressed and the proposal would improve the “derelict appearance” of the site that also boosts the local economy.

The site falls outside of any conservation area but is adjacent to a Grade II 
Listed building – being St Peter’s Church of Wimblington. The photo extract 
shows the application site frontage with the Listed Building in question in the 
backgroundThe site falls outside of any conservation area but is adjacent to a Grade II Listed building – being St Peter’s Church of Wimblington. The photo extract shows the application site frontage with the Listed Building in question in the background

Doddington councillor Dave Connor had asked for the application to be considered by the committee since he believes the new grain store fits the council’s economic growth policy. He also felt any objections as a result of the expansion could have been dealt with through the council’s enforcement team.

Knowles Transport Ltd wanted to build the 10 metre high grain store and demolish storage buildings, outbuildings and an office on the site in Manea Road.

Council planners said: “It is considered that the scale, layout and appearance of the development would harm the character and appearance of the area.

“Furthermore insufficient information has been provided to establish that the development would not cause severe harm to the highway by reason of its proximity to the junction of the A141 and the bend.”

They said a summary of findings by the county council showed that Knowles Transport “does not appear to control sufficient land to provide adequate visibility at the site access.

“The proposed development would therefore be detrimental to highway safety.

“The intensification of that interference which this proposal would engender would lead to the deterioration in the efficiency of the road as a traffic carrier and be detrimental to highway safety.

“The application is not supported by sufficient highways and transport information to demonstrate that the proposed development would not be prejudicial to the satisfactory functioning of the highway and highway safety.”

The report to councillors says “the present application is a resubmission which was previously withdrawn following concerns raised over the scale and appearance of the proposed building and the impact an intensified use of the site and relocation of access was considered to have on the highway”.

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