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No to homes plan for Fenland village site

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Plans to build 26 homes on a site in a Fenland village have been refused by Fenland District Council's planning department because it is not in keeping with the character of the area.

There were numerous letters objecting the application by Mark Stone to build the houses on land north of 96a to 100 Westfield Road, Manea, as well as a good number in support of the plans.

However, the parish council was opposed to the plans because members felt that although within the site lies within

the village's designated plan, the proposal was over development.

Plans to build 26 homes on a site of Westfield Road in Manea have been rejected by planners. (57985350)
Plans to build 26 homes on a site of Westfield Road in Manea have been rejected by planners. (57985350)

Simply stating: " Twenty six is too many."

The council also raised concerns about the fact the site is largely greenfield and also over the disposal of sewage and foul water from the development.

However, among those actively supporting the application was Paul Newell, who, like many other of the plans' supporters, said: "I was interested to see the planning application for the scrubland that lies adjacent to us.

"I would be more than happy to see this land finally being put to good use. I think the proposed development should be encouraged as it will provide a goodmis of housing that fills in an area with similar housing the existing houses in and around Glebe Close."

His thoughts were echoed by Tommy Savage who said: I am please to see that these are much needed family homes, set out in a very nice way."

But Clive Welsman, who lives close tot he site, objected on the grounds the application was over development.

He also raised the issue of local services such as the school being unable to cope and was also worried the planned homes would devalue his own property as well as stating the homes would be out of character with the area.

Fenland's planning officers agreed with a report stating: "The application is unacceptable in principle because the proposed site relates more to open countryside than the built area of Manea and is out of keeping with the pattern of development and character of this part of the village which is predominantly countryside with frontage development. The development would not contribute positively to the character and local distinctiveness of the area.

"No information has been submitted with regards to assessment upon ecology/biodiversity and given the nature of the site, such information is necessary to enable the local planning authority to assess the impact on biodiversity including whether there are any protected species present.

"The proposal does not make provision for any affordable housing or contributions and the application is therefore recommended for refusal."

However, a design and access statement submitted in support of the application stated there would be a "much needed affordable housing or financial contribution towards the infrastructure arising from the development."

The application was refused following discussion by councillors at Fenland's recent planning committee meeting.

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