Six years after Tesco was refused permission for Whittlesey store they’re on the verge of building 20 houses there - but will councillors stop them?
- Credit: Archant
Six years after they were turned down for a supermarket on the site, Tesco is hopeful of being days away from an exit strategy for Whittlesey by turning to house building.
Officers are recommending Fenland Council planning committee approve plans for 20 houses west of 27-31 Cemetery Road although two councillors are determined to stop it.
Councillors Chris Boden and Kay Mayor want it thrown out on the grounds of not being in keeping with the area, highways safety and loss of privacy for neighbours and for those attending the nearby GP surgery.
The town council is also recommending the application is refused “due to over intensification of site, lack of parking, highways issues relating to Cemetery Road and overlooking issues primarily of the doctors’ surgery”.
Helen Papworth, practice manager of the New Queen Street surgery in Syers Lane, said privacy and confidentiality for patients was their main concern.
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Six of the proposed homes would be near the surgery “and I fear that having two storey dwellings will serve to compromise patient confidentiality. Whilst we have blinds at our windows, at times of years the clinical staff does prefer to consult with an open blind or window for ventilation.”
Ms Papworth added: “When our surgery premises were built in 2006, we especially designed the clinical rooms along that side of our building away from the car park, entrance and road to assist with patient confidentiality.”
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A couple from James Gardens have told the council that previous applications for bungalows on the land would be more acceptable.
“It is hard to understand how it would be possible or how it would meet building standards to construct 20 two storey houses in regards to both inside and outside space” they said.
Warning of an “invasion of privacy” they also insist their homes would be “over looked and over shadowed by taller properties, something we thought would never happen and which made our home so desirable when we bought it.”
But planning officers say the application is acceptable subject to conditions despite there being eight letters of objection.
Problems of overlooking can be dealt with at a later design stage, say officers, and boundary fencing and the distance means there would be no issues with the doctors’ surgery.
The committee will be told that Tesco doesn’t want to provide any affordable housing but instead give £100,000 by way of community benefit (S106) to be shared between the district and county councils.
The planning committee meets on January 11.