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Residents launch petition against controversial planning approval for homes on ‘historical’ Chatteris site

A group of residents are petitioning against Fenland Council’s decision to approve plans for nine homes on a site in Chatteris.

The Lode Way Residents group has launched a petition against the decision made earlier in the spring to approve the plans by Mr J McGarvie of JMC Construction Ltd to build the homes on land east of 13B Bridge Street - between Gull Way, Lode Way, and Black Horse Lane.

Fenland’s planning officers, Cambridgeshire’s Highways, and Chatteris Town Council had all recommended the proposals for refusal however the council’s planning committee approved them.

Residents in the Lode Way area of Chatteris are challenging a decision by Fenland's planning committee to grant permission for nine houses.
Residents in the Lode Way area of Chatteris are challenging a decision by Fenland's planning committee to grant permission for nine houses.

One of the leading campaigners posted to the town’s Facebook page urging people to sign the petition.

They said: “If you drive along Lode Way then this approval will affect you, especially if you're in Grenadier Drive as the new junction will be opposite your junction and very close to Kingfisher Close on the corner (32 Lode Way is to be demolished for access).

“To note is that FDC's Planning Officer, CCC Highways Safety, and Chatteris Town Council recommended refusal, but the FDC planning committee decided to approve it anyway.”

An officer’s report to the committee meeting in March said it was contrary to a number of the council’s planning policies.

And said: “The historic pastureland on which the proposal is situated is considered to be an important feature, contributing significantly to the setting of the associated listed building (Kent House) and the historic integrity, character and appearance of the conservation area.

“The proposed development by virtue of its siting would result in the loss of one of the last remaining parcels of open pastureland on the edge of the historic part of the settlement, thereby being significantly detrimental to the setting of the listed building and character and appearance of the conservation area.

“The proposals would result in a less than substantial level of harm, however, this harm would not be outweighed by the public benefit of the provision of 9 additional houses.”

The report also raised concerns over visibility at the proposed site access.

It said: “It is evident from the submitted plans, the applicant does control sufficient land to provide adequate visibility at the site access. The proposal therefore is of concern with regard to highway safety.”

Minutes of the planning meeting said: “Members do not support refusal of planning permission as they feel that this grass land is not of special historical status, the properties are being built on Flood Zone 1 and it is only the access that is in Flood Zones 2 and 3, the speed survey undertaken and the planning condition on the properties on Lode Way makes the access to this piece of land suitable and it will bring much needed homes to Chatteris.”

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