Whittlesey housing estate plan is kicked out by planning inspector

The proposed layout of the 249 home site that has been dismissed in a planning appeal.

The proposed layout of the 249 home site that has been dismissed in a planning appeal. - Credit: Archant

Plans for a 249 home estate on land near the Dog in a Doublet sluice in Whittlesey have been turned down following a planning appeal.

Government inspector Christina Downes dismissed the appeal by Showfields Ltd over fears of flooding, traffic congestion, the effect on the nearby Nene Washes conservation site and highway safety.

Insp Downes said: “A not insignificant part of the housing area is within an area of high flood risk. Following such an approach is not merely a slavish adherence to policy as the appellant suggests but rather it is central to an understanding of sustainability objectives.”

Protesters have been strongly campaigning against the site in the north of Whittlesey ever since a planning application was submitted to Fenland District Council, who turned down the scheme in December last year.

The Showfield Action Group last year arranged a meeting for residents and more than 300 people packed the Ivy Leaf Social Club in town to have their say on the application.

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Residents feared that the homes would increase traffic, cause flooding problems and put extra pressure on schools and doctors surgeries.

Their were also fears about damaging the site of special scientific interest at Nene Washes.

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Without the homes the B1040 was closed for 65 days last winter because of flooding and roads near the site including Teal and Otago Road are often gridlocked.

Local people feared that with the extra development the flooding would only get worse.

Whittlesey Town councillors opposed the application and cited flood risk, traffic fears, drainage problems and potential damage to the site’s biodiversity.

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