Only half of you bothered to turn up and the coach barely stopped says council boss Melton in reprimand to committee

COUNCILLORS were negligent when it came to considering a two-storey bungalow in Chatteris, said Council Leader Alan Melton.

“Unfortunately only half the members of the planning committee attended the site inspection” he claimed after a trip to London Road, Chatteris, had been organised.

“I also understand that the coach barely stopped, which is grossly unfair to the applicants.”

He alleged they “did not give adequate time for proper evaluation” as he argued for the officers’ recommendation to refuse the application be rejected.

The committee voted to allow the bungalow to be built at Ferry Farm, London Road, even though the site is outside the town boundary.

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Officers argued that the proposal was contrary to the Fenland Local Plan and “is not consistent with the principles of sustainable living.”

But Cllr Melton, who spoke out at the meeting as the ward member for Chatteris Birch, said urbanisation of London Road was not before time.

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“The town and district councillors have argued for a long time for development to be allowed along London Road,” he said.

Approval means Mr and Mrs Joe Fuller can build a retirement home next to the carpet tile recycling business run by their only daughter Jo.

“Both Mr and Mrs Fuller have suffered bouts of ill health and close accessibility for their daughter will make care far easier,” he said.

Cllr Melton said houses had been built ‘sporadically” along London Road for 50 years and it was an anomaly to suggest homes there were passed under agricultural occupancy conditions.

“No house between Tithe Estate and Ferry Hill is occupied by a farmer or anyone connected with agriculture,” he added.

Officers who considered the application said they might have recommended it for approval had it met the criteria of being “truly outstanding and ground breaking” but it wasn’t.

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