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Homes plan sparks 'fight them on the beaches' call to Elm villagers amid fears village could become surburb of Wisbech

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Plans to increase a development of homes in Elm from 20 to 27 units has sparked fears the village could soon be consumed as a suburb of Wisbech.

How the new homes might look. (3895662)
How the new homes might look. (3895662)

Originally plans for 20 homes on land west of Cedar Way were refused because the number of houses would exceed the amount of new builds set out for Elm in the Local Plan 2012 (LP12).

However, two applications - one for nine homes and another for 11- were later passed separately in December 2016 - despite a huge swathe of local opposition - meaning Kier Living Ltd could build 20 homes on the site after all.

The site is accessed off Grove Gardens. (3895667)
The site is accessed off Grove Gardens. (3895667)

Now the developer has submitted a new plan for 27 homes, which it claims will "rationalise the two applications under one planning submission".

The proposal, submitted last week, is to build 15 two bed terraced and semis, eight three bed terraced and semis and four four bed detached, all two story dwellings.

In their design statement Kier said: "The merits of redeveloping the site remain as before in that the site is effectively land left over following the completion of the Grove Gardens and Cedar Way development to the east and north. This proposal is a logical rounding off of development of a site which is largely encircled by housing development, agricultural buildings and open space."

The site layout for the proposed 27 houses. (3895664)
The site layout for the proposed 27 houses. (3895664)

But former parish councillor Robert Pinnock, who is among a large number of villagers opposed to the plans, has hit out at the application and said: "It is over development without the corresponding infra-structure. We objected to the original application for 20 homes as it would force the number of new homes over the LP12 threshold.

"Kier then came back with plans for nine units on part of the land and then a further application for 11 - making 20 in all. Now they have come up with proposals for 27.

"We already have permission granted for 50 homes going down Gosmoor Lane and 30 off Henry Warby Avenue - that's 80 extra in the vicinity of the centre of the village.

"The infra-structure is not there, the school has no room, our roads get flooded in heavy downpours because the sewers can't take it. It always happens, the homes are built without the infra-structure."

Mr Pinnock continued: "LP12 set the level of development for Elm, but we are already over that threshold. I would question what is the point of having a local plan if it is going to be ignored. It makes a nonsense of the whole thing."

He also pointed out that 10,000 homes are planned for the north side of Wisbech, and said with the way development is going it will not be long before Elm becomes eaten up as a suburb of the town.

Fellow Elm resident Veronica Trubshaw is equally opposed to Kier's latest plans.

She said: "I am shocked to discover that 'land west of Cedar Way, accessed by Grove Gardens', previously rejected by Fenland District Council on more than one occasion, has had a reapplication .

"Before, it was for 20 houses, Kier have now applied for 27. If this proposal has been rejected on the grounds of 20, Fenland District Council can not seriously consider this.

"Elm is at capacity which has been mentioned in previous rejected applications elsewhere in the village, along surely with the environmental impact of pollution.

"I suggest villagersvisit the Fenland Council's website www.fenland.gov.uk.

"The planning reapplication is F/YR18/0320/F and make your objections known, You only have until September 11.

"This is not quite 'we shall fight them on the beaches' but the sentiment is similar."

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