‘We might as well tear up the core plan and chuck it in the bin’ says Fenland planning chief after colleagues vote to allow controversial development on outskirts of Doddington

FDC Planning meeting. Picture: Steve Williams.

FDC Planning meeting. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The Cabinet member responsible for planning has attacked colleagues for approving 10 homes at Doddington which officers had recommended for refusal.

FDC Planning meeting.Charlie Boughton, Peter Humprey, Picture: Steve Williams.

FDC Planning meeting.Charlie Boughton, Peter Humprey, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Will Sutton, Cabinet member responsible for neighbourhood planning, criticised the decision by the planning committee to approve the application.

Cllr Sutton voted against the application but the planning committee approved the homes by six votes to four.

He said the application was “out of kilter” with the Local Plan.

“We might as well tear up the core plan and chuck it in the bin,” said Cllr Sutton.

FDC Planning meeting. Cllr Dave Connor. Picture: Steve Williams.

FDC Planning meeting. Cllr Dave Connor. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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But the homes - supported by Steve Barclay, the Parliament Conservative candidate- can be built.

Councillors accepted they were outside the traditional development boundary but felt as Doddington had been earmarked for growth they should be approved.

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Parish councillor Ruth Hufton told the committee: “Doddington is a growth village but we are anxious it should be by a series of smaller developments rather than larger developments tacked on to the outside of the village.

“We don’t want an urban sprawl.”

An aerial plan of the 10 home proposed development near Askham House in Doddington.

An aerial plan of the 10 home proposed development near Askham House in Doddington. - Credit: Archant

Planning agent Peter Humphrey, speaking on behalf of the applicant Charles Boughton, said afterwards the decision “shows the new Local Plan is open to interpretation.”

The site is on the Benwick Road between Doddington Hospital and Askham House care home.

Councillor Dave Connor said the application “ticks all the boxes” for localism and provides new homes in a small style build.

Councillor Florence Newell said: “Doddington needs new homes. It is a small village so needs a small development. These 10 homes are ideal.”

FDC Planning meeting. Cllr Will Sutton. Picture: Steve Williams.

FDC Planning meeting. Cllr Will Sutton. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Mr Barclay wrote to the chairman of planning committee councillor, Alex Miscandlon, saying developments of 10 or less homes should not have to provide affordable homes but planners agreed they should remain as part of the conditions.

He also said Mr Boughton “makes a significant contribution to the local economy running an award winning business”.

Cllr Miscandlon said he had not seen the letter although officers had placed it on the council’s website and in planning files.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Boughton said: “The parish council are the local people who understand the area and are the ones who have to live with planning decisions. They are in agreement. We are delighted.”

Award winning Field End Water, Doddington

Award winning Field End Water, Doddington - Credit: Archant

Officers say the development “does not respect the character of development in Doddington by reason of its layout”.

They also claim it will “result in ribbon development along Benwick Road that is out of keeping with the core shape and form of the settlement and will have an adverse impact on its character and appearance. The development does not respect the character of development in Doddington”.

The report said: “The impact that the development will have on the existing natural features along the site frontage will be detrimental to the appearance of the area.”

Middle Level Commissioners told the council that “both flooding and effective disposal of surface water are material planning considerations.”

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