Garden town bid a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance for Wisbech, says council leader

Fenland District Council leader John Clark
Fenland District Council leader John Clark

Garden town proposals for Wisbech are a “once in a lifetime” chance to transform the area’s future, council chiefs have claimed.

A decision is expected today on a multi-million pound bid to fund a feasibility study of the project, which envisages the development of up to 12,000 new homes over the next 40 years.

Fenland District Council leaders are seeking £6.4 million from the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority to pay for the work.

The study is intended to establish whether issues such as such as flood risk, transport and land purchase can be resolved to allow the project to go ahead.

Half of the money would be used to carry out further study of the bid to revive Wisbech’s rail link, which is seen is a critical plank of the project.

Fenland Council leader John Clark said: “All key partners, both public and private, are proud to be able to support this emerging proposal on behalf of the community of Wisbech and have come together with an unprecedented unity of purpose behind the Wisbech Garden Town proposal.

“There is a once in a lifetime window of opportunity now available to transform the future of Wisbech and its community.

“We are recommending that partners should recognise this opportunity and give their support to ensure its success.”

The region’s mayor, James Palmer, who was elected to the role last month, has also indicated his backing for the scheme.

He said: “The prosperity and profile of Wisbech will play a big role in the success of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“We want to support the local community in achieving its vision for the future.

“The approval of this bid will be a huge step forward in bringing this project to fruition.”

The authority’s meeting takes place in Ely this morning.