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Plans are now in for 1,200 housing estate with primary school in March



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A developer has submitted plans which will see up to 1,200 homes, a new primary school, community hub, allotments and more built on the outskirts of a Fenland town.

Persimmon Homes, who revealed their ambitions in September 2020 to build the estate, has now submitted an outline application to Fenland District Council with the hopes of gaining permission to build the houses on an area of land between The Avenue and the A141 in March.

A design and access statement submitted by the developer in support of the application says the development, which it calls Orchard Meadows, will unlock the West March Strategic Allocation - delivering more than half the 2,000 homes earmarked for the 52.42 hectares site.

The site planned for 1,200 houses as part of March West Strategic Allocation. (54089184)
The site planned for 1,200 houses as part of March West Strategic Allocation. (54089184)

As well as outline planning permission for the total 1,200 homes it is seeking full planning permission for 350 of those houses for the first phase as well as the open space, landscaping, access from Knight’s End Road and the pedestrian / cycle link to Kingswood Road.

Persimmon says council officers have engaged in the preparation of the application at the start of the process with a comprehensive pre-application meetings taking place with the Fenland planners and various technical consultees, including Cambridgeshire County Council.

And the developer adds: "In preparing the planning application full regard has been given to the advice received over the last 18 months."

What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089190)
What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089190)

Persimmon says: "The overall vision for Orchard Meadows is to create a distinctive and high-quality place, which respects and enhances the character and assets of March while ensuring connectivity with the existing community."

And continues: "Orchard Meadows presents Fenland District Council with the opportunity to create a sustainable development of high environmental quality.

"Part of a wider locally distinctive neighbourhood of around 2,000 new homes, the proposals deliver up to 1,200 homes and a community hub, including local centre and primary school, within a strong landscape framework to provide residents with an attractive, green environment in which to live."

A view of the site. (54089179)
A view of the site. (54089179)

Persimmon points out the site is 'relatively simple and predominantly arable farmland', located close to the southwestern edge of March. It covers the land immediately east of the A141 stretching from Knight’s End Road at its southern edge towards Burrowmoor Road further north of the site boundary."

The development will have a broad range of house types from first homes to larger family homes ranging in size from one-bedroom to five bedroom and will also have affordable housing.

Persimmon said initial consultation with the local education authority (LEA) had indicated that two primary schools with a two form entry each offering 420 pupil places in total would be required for the West March Strategic Allocation.

The proposed layout of the 1,200 homes. (54089196)
The proposed layout of the 1,200 homes. (54089196)

However, the design and access statement said the LEA would be content with one primary school with land allocated for potential expansion to a three form entry.

A new local centre encompassing shops and workspaces, is included and will be provided next to the school.

The local centre and primary school are located close together near to an open green space, where equipped play and allotment gardens are proposed, as well as the retained public footpath to create an active ‘community hub’.

This ‘hub’, says Persimmon, provides a focus for the new neighbourhood at Orchard Meadows, offering the day to day needs for residents in terms of ‘top-up’ shopping and a place to meet for social interaction.

What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089193)
What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089193)

The main access to the site will be from the A141 with the provision of a new three-arm roundabout.

The second access will be from Knights End Road formed as a priority junction - this access will be built as part of the first phase and before the main access roundabout.

People can comment on the application (F/YR21/1497/O) via Fenland District Council's website on its planning pages here.

A view of the site. (54089172)
A view of the site. (54089172)
What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089187)
What one of the Orchard Meadows streets might look like. (54089187)
A view of the site. (54089176)
A view of the site. (54089176)


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