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Plans for 70 homes in Chatteris described as ‘cramming them in’

Plans to build 70 homes on a field close to a town’s football club have been described by opponents as “cramming them in”.

Minster Property Group has applied for permission for the 29 two-bedroom two-storey; 29 three-bedroom two two-storey; six four-bedroom two two-storey and six two-bedroom bungalows, with all 70 properties earmarked for affordable housing.

The site is on land west and south of 74 West Street in Chatteris which has previously had planning permission for 58 dwellings with a quarter of them for affordable housing.

The proposed access location for the homes development off West Street.
The proposed access location for the homes development off West Street.

The latest application, which has been submitted to Fenland District Council this week will include estate roads, private driveways, landscaping, areas of public open space, and drainage infrastructure.

A planning and design statement drawn up by Surface Planning in support of the application explains there will be a range of tenures with the final mix yet to be determined “but intended to provide a balance of affordable ownership and affordable rented homes”.

The statement adds: “The proposals have been subject to pre-application engagement with the Local Planning Authority, through which the scheme has evolved and reduced in scale from its original quantum of 86 dwellings to ensure a mutually acceptable design, while still aspiring to maximise the delivery of affordable homes in an area of acute need.”

The proposed site is located off West Street close to the football ground.
The proposed site is located off West Street close to the football ground.

Primary vehicular and pedestrian access to the site will be from West Street near the junction with Gibside Avenue, with an additional pedestrian connection being provided at the northern end of the site via the existing access to the Chatteris Town FC ground.

The statement points out that an increase in the site area and a reduction in the size of the homes planned has enabled an increase in the number of properties compared to the previous application.

The will also be extra public open space.

Objections from residents include concerns over traffic congestion, potential flood risk, and the added burden on services including the GP practice and schools.

April White said: “I object to this application on the grounds that West Street is already quite a congested road, meeting Huntingdon Road at an already busy junction near a point where Clare Street and old Huntingdon Road join Huntingdon Road, where cars join from the roundabout from the by-pass and I can foresee back-logs at the roundabout at a busy time when people are waiting to turn into these roads.”

She added: “The plans also seem to me to be cramming a lot of properties into one space. I have concerns about potential flooding.”

David Masterson commented: “West Street is totally unsuitable for the extra vehicles that this development will generate. The houses at the top of the Huntingdon Road end have no driveways so their only option is to park on a street built at the time when literally nobody owned a car.

“From personal experience, part of the proposed site ie the field adjacent to the town football club does have surface water on it during the winter and during any periods of persistent rain. This planning application should be turned down as it is totally in the wrong place.”

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