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It's a 'no' to homes over flood risk worries

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Plans for 33 homes in Wisbech have been refused by Fenland planning officers because there is a "high probability of flooding".

An aerial view of the site location. (11813395)
An aerial view of the site location. (11813395)

The application by Mr Goodale, submitted on his behalf by Gareth Edwards of Swann Edwards Architects Ltd, was asking for outline permission for the homes on land west Of 85-111 Sutton Road, Leverington.

However, Fenland District Council officers have deemed the application has failed "to demonstrate how the development will provide wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk."

A report by planning officers points out 17 of the proposed houses would be in Flood Zone 3 where there is a high probability of flooding.

A plan of the proposed layout. (11813393)
A plan of the proposed layout. (11813393)

The report states the application form suggests there will be eight social rented houses provided, but the applicant has not provided evidence on delivery of the affordable houses and no other reference to affordable provision or how it will be delivered has been submitted.

It adds that about 17 of the homes will be "wholly or partially located within Flood Zone 3", the remaining 16 will be accommodated in Flood Zone 1 - the lowest risk.

The report said there have been numerous objections to the plans which include the lack of public facilities, loss of privacy and amenity, loss of light, highways safety, loss of Grade 1 agricultural land and over development.

Leverington Parish Council also objects on the grounds of safety and loss of agricultural land as well as the lack of capacity in schools and infrastructure.

A design and access statement drawn up by Swann Edwards and submitted with the plans seeks to address the loss of agricultural land stating: "The land is currently in agricultural use and is rented out to a local farmer. However due to its relatively small scale, it is no longer viable for the farmer to continue to rent or for Mr Goodale to farm in isolation. Therefore, the lease is not likely to be renewed and the land will cease to be farmed. The proposal will secure the future for the land, sustainably growing the settlement and will therefore not result in a significant loss of high grade agricultural land."

On the point of flooding the statement adds: "On this particular site the Flood Zone 3 land is distinctly higher than the Flood Zone 1 land. Therefore it would appear in this instance that the land within Flood Zone 3 is at lower risk of flooding than the remainder of the land which is within Flood Zone 1. This further advocates the acceptability of the land for development in terms of flood risk."

But officers did not agree and listed flood risk as their number one reason for refusal.

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