More than 200 houses approved to be built on former Delamore site in Leverington
More than 200 homes will be built in Leverington after a two-year battle despite fears raised by residents and in the early days by council director Gary Garford who lives nearby.
They were concerned, among other issues, about safety, traffic, access, over development, devaluing property, noise, wildlife, flooding and drainage.
But Fenland District Council Planning Committee approved the 221 homes on the 19-acre site east of 88 Sutton Road for the former Delamore horticultural base.
Council officers who negotiated a 106 agreement (community benefit) deal have ended up with much less than they wanted after accepting a viability assessment from the developers.
Instead of 25 per cent of the homes being labelled affordable, this will be cut to 10 per cent.
The council says the delivery of affordable homes in Fenland was needed and in this instance they believed the developer “seeks to demonstrate a willingness” to deliver.
But £3m asked for by the county council for education and libraries has been dropped to just £500,000 in total.
Schooling could be an issue – the committee was told Leverington primary only had room for one more pupil but others in the area had better availability.
The developers have agreed to pay £82,000 towards enhancements at the North Brink surgery in Wisbech.
Council officials who assessed the application said there were no other sites for sale with planning permission capable of delivering 220 homes in Wisbech. Other sites were in the pipeline but were not ready.
“Overall the proposal is not considered to result in significant harm to the character of the area,” officers’ concluded.
Lobbyists opposed to the housing claimed “our infrastructure and amenities just cannot cope”.
Another claimed: “The dentists are stretched to capacity, public transport is limited, pathways are poor and there are no safe places to cross.”
In a design statement from 3D Planning Limited the committee heard that “Wisbech has recently fallen significantly behind its housing delivery targets in the local plan due to a combination of access and viability issues.
“The applicant for this site is also the developer and he has committed to develop the site as soon as possible.
“The development is considered to have no unacceptably adverse impact and would make a significant contribution towards the districts housing stock.”
The application by Richard Pegg to Fenland Council was first submitted in March 2017.