Knowles Transport withdraw controversial application in face of local opposition

HAULIER Tony Knowles has withdrawn his proposals for a major extension of a Fenland depot following opposition from the county council, neighbours and the Environment Agency.

Virtually his only supporters were from the parish council but they, too, had raised some concerns.

Mr Knowles’ bid to extend a grain store and create a reservoir at Manea Road, Wimblington, was pulled from the agenda of this month’s Fenland District Council Planning Committee.

Officers had prepared a report recommending it be refused on highways and pollution fear grounds but many other objections were due to be considered.

Cambridgeshire County Council argued that with increased traffic – and a high proportion of it heavy and slow moving- there were safety concerns.

They also criticised a design and access statement as being “poorly written” and claimed that no assumptions could be made about changes to speed limits past the site entrance.

The Environment Agency argued that Mr Knowles had given insufficient detail that the risk of pollution was acceptable.

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Middle Level Commissioners said that a flood risk assessment was not sufficiently detailed. Eleven residents filed complaints that extra lorries would “overburden” the road and cause chaos and disruption.

One resident added: “Until all aspects of the first phase have been completed, planning permission should not be permitted for the second phase

“It will only encourage every planning applicant to ignore requirements they find onerous.” Another called the site “an eyesore” and said any extension would dominate the skyline and overshadow some nearby homes.

“The scheme is ill conceived and based on a mixture of incorrect statement and vague promises,” said another resident.

However Fenland planners believe the extension cannot be rejected on the grounds of overlooking and that an acoustic bund will “mitigate against any potential noise and disturbance.”

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