Plan for four homes and five garages at West End in March scuppered again

Failed planning application to build 4 homes at 119-119a West End, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

Failed planning application to build 4 homes at 119-119a West End, March. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A developer’s bid to build four homes and five garages in March has been dealt a double blow.

Paul Gumbley’s proposal for 119-119a West End was once again rejected, this time on appeal, and his application for costs was turned down.

The planning inspector acknowledged the benefits of more homes in the town and was satisfied with revised parking and rubbish collection plans. No “demonstrable” harm would be caused to bats, which are a protected species, he added.

But he ruled the proposal would have a “detrimental” impact on the living conditions of neighbouring homes.

Planners said: “The appeal in respect of parking would be acceptable in terms of character and appearance and would not result in demonstrable harm to a protected species.

“The proposal would also deliver additional housing in a sustainable location and bring a previously-developed site back into use, including the restoration of No.119. These are notable benefits that contribute towards achieving sustainable development.

“However, sustainable development also includes seeking improvements in the quality of the built environment as well as in peoples’ quality of life.

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“On this wider basis I conclude that the benefits of the proposal would not be sufficient to outweigh the significant and demonstrable harm identified to the living conditions to neighbouring properties.”

Inspector David Spencer ruled against Mr Gumbley’s claim that Fenland District Council had been “unreasonable” in its handling of his application, causing him “unnecessary” expense. Mr Gumbley believed his amended plans complied with pre-application advice.

He said: “Whilst submissions made during the appeal proposal have proposed amendments to respond to the council’s reason for refusal, I consider there has been no inconsistent or unreasonable behaviour by the council.”

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