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Fire victims win permission to build a home on their business site at March

A local business couple who lost their bungalow in a fire have been given the go-ahead to build a new home/business premises where they already operate in March.

It is good news for Nigel and Nikki Davies who have been living in temporary accommodation beside Fenland Wind and Air Sport Centre, in Cross Road, for more than 18 months.

Fenland council’s planning committee has given them the green light, in spite of planning officers’ recommendations it should be refused.

Nigel and Nikki Davies with their Blokarts
Nigel and Nikki Davies with their Blokarts

The couple set up their business in Cross Road ten years ago and lived in Almond Drive until the fire.

They got temporary permission to live in a mobile home on site whilst their house was being rebuilt and appreciated how convenient it was to be on site all the time. They have also been picking up new business from passing traffic that they was previously missing by not being on site full time.

Their application was for a detached two-storey, two-bedroom house with integral reception/office and disabled welfare facilities in connection with the Wind and Air Sport Outdoor Activity Centre.

Sailing in the wind - Blokarts at the outdoor activity centre in March
Sailing in the wind - Blokarts at the outdoor activity centre in March

A statement to the committee said that they realised how “inefficient the business was having to travel back and forth as well as the increased convenience for accepting deliveries on site."

They also stressed the security aspect and the importance of being on site to protect their equipment and their expanded Blokart fleet which now includes children and disabled side cars that attach to the Blokarts enabling fun for all the family and abilities.

The report said; “Living off site means an early start and late finish for the applicants to get equipment out of storage, assembled, safety tested and test run prior to their customers arriving on site and then packing everything away again at the end of the day.

“Security is the main reason for justifying the proposal, following the increased Blokart fleet, the applicants propose to build a suitable storage unit so that the Blokarts can be stored fully assembled and ready for customers that arrive on site, off the street, without a prior booking”.

Officers who opposed the scheme pointed out that the couple's home was only 1.6 miles from their site.

They said: “As a result, it is not considered that the scheme would result in significant sustainability benefits given that the existing distances involved in travelling from their permanent address to the site would be considered to be reasonable.

Their report suggested security cameras and alarms could be used and that a permanent dwelling was unjustified. However the committee over-ruled the officers and approved the application.

Nigel and Nikki Davies said they were both "relieved at the outcome which will now allow them to continue to build and develop their unique outdoor recreation business"

They said that with the addition of also having mains electricity to the site this will enable them to better protect and enhance their business whilst at the same time allowing them to attract more local business from local advertising and employ more local people to assist in running the centre.

Contact details: www.blokartseastanglia.com, blokartseastanglia@outlook.com or 07917 827178

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