Planning committee backs mobile homes plan in Wisbech despite ‘flood risk’

Fenland Hall.

Fenland Hall. - Credit: Archant

Planners ignored fears over potential flood risk to approve an application to extend a site occupied by a Romany gipsy family in Wisbech.

Fenland planning officers admitted in their report that plans by Mrs P R Wilson to extend the site at Golden View, North Brink to accommodate two mobile homes, a garage and workshops were acceptable on all grounds except for the fact it is a an area of “high flood risk”.

Mrs Wilson wants to live on the site where her parents have been for over 25 years to have family support with her seriously ill child.

Officers, who recommended the plans for refusal, pointed out mobile homes are more vulnerable when floods hit and said it was against the “fundamental principle issue which clearly restricts incompatible development in areas of high flood risk”.

The application was before Wednesday’s planning committee because Councillor Gavin Booth felt it complied with planning policies and also there were seven letters of support.

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Councillor Mike Cornwell said floods don’t just happen and there is an excellent warning system in place, which Mrs Wilson and her family can sign up to so they receive notifications and can take necessary precautions.

“It’s not something that happens within seconds. The water doesn’t come over the top of the flood barrier in a rush, it trickles over as the water level rises. I’m sure people who live in areas that are slightly more at risk than others take more notice of these notifications,” said Councillor Cornwell.

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Councillor Dee Laws agreed the Environment Agency’s floodline alerts work really well to notify people living in particularly vulnerable areas.

She recommended approval for the application and said the issue of the area’s flood zones needs to be “called into question” and looked at.

The plans were approved by nine votes to three.

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