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Walsoken homes plans 'opportunity' for sustainable extension to town

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A homes development on a site at Sandy Lane presents an opportunity to provide a sustainable, landscape-led urban extension to the east of

Wisbech - claims a report.

Seagate Homes wants to build up to 325 homes on the site in Walsoken and a design and access statement submitted with the planning application this week drawn up by Pegasus Group explains the location forms part of a wider Strategic Allocation to deliver 1,450 new homes, as an eastern extension to the town, which would come forward jointly by Fenland District Council and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWNBC).

The statement says: "The proposals also align with the Broad Concept Plan (BCP) to the East Wisbech Strategic Allocation, which provides a template for the development in the wider area and was agreed by Fenland District Council and KLWNBC."

Plans have been submitted for up to 325 homes on a site off Sandy Lane in Walsoken. (58169037)
Plans have been submitted for up to 325 homes on a site off Sandy Lane in Walsoken. (58169037)

It goes on to explain the provision of public open space forms a dominant component of the vision for the site.

And says the wider vision for the site has "a sustainable approach which considers the green infrastructure within the wider strategic allocation, facilitating connectivity to future developments within the strategic allocation, as well as links to the existing settlement of Wisbech."

At the same time, the vision for the site considers the proposals as a sustainable, stand-alone development, which could be delivered

independently in the event where subsequent development phases are delayed.

The statement says: "Taking inspiration from its surroundings, development on land off Sandy Lane is envisaged to provide a new place to live, work and play, while recognising new approaches to urban design and masterplanning."

Key components of the proposals, which form part of the vision for the site, include:

• A highly connected network of attractive streets and spaces;

• New linear park, facilitating pedestrian connectivity to the existing built-up area of Wisbech;

• Houses of all sizes to meet a range of needs;

• Land retained for potential infrastructure / community facilities, such as a school; and

• Architecture and design that signal a new ambition for the area and green spaces that will uplift the spirit

The site covers 13.83Ha (34.17 acres) and is currently comprising of a mixture of scrubland and agricultural land.

Formerly used as tree nursery and conifer plantation, the site is subdivided into three separate fields. The northern field consists of scrubland with mature tree coverage, including orchard trees forming part of the former of the orchard. The

two southern fields consist of arable agricultural land.

Seagate's application is hybrid, meaning they are asking for outline permission for up to 224 homes and full permission to build 101 two-storey dwellings (7 x 1-bed, 24 x 2-bed, 45 x 3-bed and 25 x 4-bed) with associated parking.

Public consultation was carried out in March and April 2022 to engage with community and key stakeholders, in order to inform the proposals for land at Sandy Lane, this involved a leaflet distribution to circa 2,250 addresses within the immediate local area. The consultation process has been

designed to be as accessible as possible and provide residents and stakeholders with the opportunity to participate

and give feedback in the planning and development processes.

But the statement says: "Given the leaflet distribution to approximately 2,250 residents in the local area, turnout was low. When including

direct responses and signatories to petitions, the turnout is estimated to be around 3.3%. The low turnout can be perceived as an indication that the proposed development does not pose significant concerns for the vast majority of residents that received the leaflets."

Concerns raised included: Highways safety; traffic congestion; impact on local infra structure including schools and GP surgeries; noise and pollution, and loss of amenity.

However,provision of open space was welcomed and received positive feedback.

Residents can now have their say on the plans via the Fenland District Council's planning portal reference: F/YR22/0844/O

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