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Plan for 110 homes in Fenland field spark objections and fears over flooding



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Nearly 50 residents have raised major concerns over plans to build up to 110 homes off Upwell Road in March.

The objections have flooded in in the past week when the application by Allison Homes to build on an agricultural field of around 3.9hectares with an access off Upwell Road went live on Fenland District Council’s planning portal.

Fears over flooding, over-stretched infra-structure including the sewerage system, traffic congestion, lack of school places and destruction of a habitat for wildlife have all been raised in the letters sent to the council in objection to the outline planning application.

What the new homes will look like (54694587)
What the new homes will look like (54694587)

Among those leading the fight is Victoria Batterham, who has launched a petition to go alongside the letters of objection and she is hoping more people living in the area close to the site which has Cavalry Drive, Clydsdale Close and Cleveland Bay forming the western boundary, will add their voices and object.

She believes the development, which will include two, three, four and five bedroom houses, some of them three storey, will exacerbate existing flooding problems in the area.

Victoria said: “The planning documents included with the application has a paragraph which says there is no flooding in the area. But the field itself is often left under water for days after we have had heavy rain.

Cavalry Drive close to where there are plans for 110 new homes. Photo: Cavalry residents. (54694578)
Cavalry Drive close to where there are plans for 110 new homes. Photo: Cavalry residents. (54694578)

“My neighbour’s garage was flooded last year, and there has been a lot of well documented flooding issues in and around Cavalry as well as in gardens along Upwell Road. There are two bungalows in Morton Avenue that are still boarded up from the last floods in 2020 and there appear to be no plans to let them because they have been flooded so many times.

“As I said my neighbour’s garage flooded and we really feared we would be flooded too, the water was a foot deep and less than metre from our door - we back on to the site, so clearly there is a flooding problem."

However, a design and access statement drawn up by Marrons Planning in support of the application states: "No significant risk of flooding to the proposed development has been identified from surface water.

The layout of the proposed homes. (54694584)
The layout of the proposed homes. (54694584)

"However, the proposed development is affected by low to medium levels of surfaced water flooding along the western boundary, which is likely due to existing ditches. Any surface water can be mitigated through the proposed development being positively drained and through the existing ditches being cleared out if necessary."

Victoria said residents are also deeply concerned about the the infra-structure, which she said is already over-stretched.

And she added: "I believe there’s a two-year waiting list for Cavalry School and traffic is bad along Cavalry Drive, I’ve even had a car crash on to my driveway, and the sewerage system is struggling to cope - it has not be upgraded in the 20 years I have lived here.

Morton Avenue in March is in close proximity to the proposed development site.
Morton Avenue in March is in close proximity to the proposed development site.

“The ecological report that has been submitted with the application says there are no bats on the site, but we have them coming into our garden from that field.

“There is no way this area of town can cope with that many houses - we should also point out that we have only one secondary school too.

“I’m also concerned that we have not received a letter from Fenland District Council informing us the plans have been submitted, which they said they would do when there was a consultation on the proposed application.

Flooding is a major issue in March including in the area where plans have been drawn up for 110 homes.
Flooding is a major issue in March including in the area where plans have been drawn up for 110 homes.

“I’m also worried that people who responded during the developer’s consultation will think that is enough and that their objections will be heard but that is not the case, they need to write to the council to formally object.

“I have written to MP Steve Barclay and all the local councillors to make their aware of our concerns and I’m hoping they will support us."

Among the objectors is Sally Taylor in her letter she said: "I would ask that the Planning Committee take into account the major concerns of residents in this area and beyond on how this proposed large residential site will affect everyone on this side of the town due to infrastructure issues."

A number of objectors raise the issue of over development Rob Fordham said: "Complete over development situated next to a rare piece of woodland. I see access being a problem as drivers certainly don't drive at 30mph down Upwell Road. Can facilities cope?"

Karen Godbold says she must have been dreaming when her kitchen was flooded if developers believe flooding is not an issue in Cavalry Drive.
Karen Godbold says she must have been dreaming when her kitchen was flooded if developers believe flooding is not an issue in Cavalry Drive.

However, the design and access statement said: "The key objectives underpinning the application scheme are as follows: Create up to 110 new homes that sensitively integrate into the community in a highly sustainable location; Create a high quality and landscape led development that can deliver housing to support local need Create a scheme that provides a good mix of house types."

What the homes might look like. (54694593)
What the homes might look like. (54694593)

Twenty-five per cent of the homes will be affordable housing.

The statement concludes: "The proposals have been informed by a suite of detailed technical assessments of the site and of the likely impact of development in this particular location.

"It is judged that the development proposals will not give rise to any significant adverse material planning impact, and will importantly deliver a residential development that will be of the highest design quality, sensitive to its village locality and one that integrates well with its surrounding built and natural environment."

Views of the proposed site. (54694590)
Views of the proposed site. (54694590)

You can have your say via Fenland Council's planning portal the planning reference is: F/YR22/0062/O.

Flooding in Upwell Road. Picture: Fred Yeulett. (54694581)
Flooding in Upwell Road. Picture: Fred Yeulett. (54694581)
Cavalry Drive has been flooded many times and there are fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Cavalry Drive has been flooded many times and there are fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive has been flooded several times and she fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive has been flooded several times and she fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive has been flooded several times and she fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive has been flooded several times and she fears the new housing will only add to her problems. (54727395)
Karen Godbold says she must have been dreaming when her kitchen was flooded if developers believe flooding is not an issue in Cavalry Drive.
Karen Godbold says she must have been dreaming when her kitchen was flooded if developers believe flooding is not an issue in Cavalry Drive.
Flood water lapping at Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive.
Flood water lapping at Karen Godbold's home in Cavalry Drive.


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