Category Archives: Housing developments

We are against quarries – says Parish Council

excavating-machine

An editorial comment in the Thorney Post came under fire at Monday’s Parish Council meeting.

The editorial, asking why there wasn’t a public outcry over the number of quarries being developed between the village and Peterborough, was criticised by Russ Bevington, who said the Parish Council has consistently objected to plans.

“We don’t want extra lorries in the village, we don’t want the congestion, but there is very little we can do,” he said.

“The Parish Council has objected on traffic grounds, but the Highways Agency will never say the A47 can’t cope, no matter how many extra lorries use the road.”

Other councillors asked if there was any benefit to the village from the quarries. They were told there’s a £1 per tonne tax which goes to a national fund and communities affected by quarrying can apply for grants. Thorney had applied in the past but had not been successful.

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The Parish Council has said no to a skateboard park in the village.

Recently re-elected city councillor Steve Allen said four people had raised this with him when he was canvassing and he wondered if one might be built on public space at the new Park Farm housing development at the eastern end of the village.

Margaret Long said a skate park had figured quite low down the list when surveys were done to see what type of play equipment was wanted in the park.

Russ Bevington said planning rules would not allow a skate park to be built within 100 metres of homes, so finding somewhere suitable would be difficult.

Ray Wood said if one was built there would be no end of complaints.

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The village’s fight against dog mess continues …

The Parish Council has obtained stencils which will allow them to paint warning signs on pavements where fouling is a particular problem. A bin for dog poo is to be installed on the green space at the corner of Chestnut Drive and Berberis Close.

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Police are to conduct speed checks along Whittlesey Road in response to complaints about speeding in the extended 30mph limit.

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John Bartlett has been re-elected chair of Thorney Parish Council. Margaret Long was re-elected as vice-chair.

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The war memorial at the Bedford Hall is suffering from the effects of weathering and its lettering needs to be re-filled.

Ray Wood brought the issue to the attention of Thorney Parish Council, who said the memorial was the property of the Royal British Legion.

Sheila Reeve, who is a member of the legion, said she would raise it at their next meeting and Mr Wood said the council should be prepared to help with cost of repairs.

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Bollards along The Causeway will not be removed.

Peterborough City Council has suggested their removal to declutter the road following its downgrade from trunk road status.

But the parish council wants them retained. There was concern that cars would be parked on the verge and that gipsies may also move in.

Members did agree the bollards were very dirty and said they should be washed.

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A quote of just under £3,000 has been obtained for making new replica level-crossing gates for Kingsline Close.

Two further quotes are due this month and the council will then apply for grants from the wind-farm community fund.

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Rotten village signs will cost around £250 each to be recast in metal.

Andy Bunyan reported figures to the parish council meeting on Monday. The signs would then have to be painted.

The current signs were erected in 1980 paid for by private donations and cost £1,500 for the four.

There had been a suggestion at a previous meeting that the four signs should be replaced by just one, sited on the grass verge at the crossroads.

Russ Bevington said he thought removing a sign from the far end of the village and erecting one at the crossroads would exacerbate the “us and them” feeling among some villagers.

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A heritage-style streetlight for Abbey Place will cost the village £4,500, it was reported.

The light was missed when the City Council installed the new streetlights in the “heritage part” of the village as it was inaccurately listed as being in Wisbech Road.

Ray Wood said no-one seemed to have noticed and he didn’t think the parish council should pay any more.

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Barbed wire has been strung across a stile on a public footpath linking Whittlesey Road with Toneham. The wire was put up when cows were turned out into the field. It has been reported to the City Council.

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Allotment holders should contribute to the cost of an access road, it was agreed by the Parish Council.

The current road was been churned up over winter, making it inaccessible for all but 4x4s.

The parish wants to lay heavy-duty mesh which will prevent the ground being churned up and allow grass to grow through, but the cost might be £6,000.

Andy Bunyan said he thought the City Council should pay as it was their land. Steve Allen suggested the best way forward was to put rents up so that the allotment holders made a contribution, helping pay for the access road over a number of years. He thought the City and Parish Councils could also contribute.

An accurate quote is being sought.

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Costs are being obtained to buy privet hedge plants to cover ugly railings at the crossroads.

Free hawthorn hedge plants are available, but Thorney Parish Council wants evergreen privet to hide the railings and match the hedges at the house opposite and the Rose & Crown.

Thorney Parish Council snippets

Reports from Thorney Parish Council meeting on Monday, January 14.

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Allotment holders can’t reach their plots due to the muddy track across the field at the bottom of Gas Lane.

Helen Baker said her car, with two children on board had got stuck in the mud. She asked if the Parish Council could improve the surface of the track.

She was told the field was owned by Peterborough City Council and rented to a farmer who would object to a track being laid.

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Sheila Reeves has been co-opted onto Thorney Parish Council.

Sheila, who worked for Peterborough City Council before she retired, has lived in the village for 16 years.

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People outside the village living alongside the A47 are prisoners in their own homes, Les Lazell told Thorney Parish Council’s January meeting.

He was seeking their support to campaign for a walkway alongside the main road to the east of the village. He said there had been a footpath, but this was removed when the road was widened.

“The road is dangerous,” he said. “There’s an accident every five days. If someone was in a mobility scooter or using a pushchair, they’d have no choice but to go on the road. What happens if you break down?”

The Parish Council said this was a Highways Agency matter and Mr Lazell should write to his MP.

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The Parish Council is to purchase a notice board for £479. The board will be placed inside the bus stop in front of the Duke of Bedford School and will be big enough for four A4 sheets.

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A local tradesman will be asked if it’s possible to repair the level crossing gates by Kingsline Close.

The gates are rotten, but it was felt they could be repaired in-situ by using wood filler or splicing in new wood.

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One of Thorney’s village signs is to be taken down to obtain quotes from a specialist company to provide new signs in cast aluminium.

The signs are becoming rotten and replacing all four signs may cost £20,000.

Dorothy Halfhide suggested that the four signs might be replaced by one on The Green and there was an alternative suggestion that the grassed area next to the traffic lights would be a better location.

A decision will be made once alternative costs have been obtained.

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Thorney Parish Council is to give the church £1,300 to remove a dangerous tree in the graveyard and also cut back another. The total cost of the work is £1,800, but John Bartlett said the church had been given an anonymous donation of £500.

Some parish councillors thought the church ought to pay the entire amount, but a motion to that effect was defeated.

Ray Wood said if the tree was in his garden, the Parish wouldn’t pay.

Russ Bevington agreed that the diocese ought to pay but said they wouldn’t. “The tree is in a dangerous state and needs to come down quickly. The graveyard is a major village amenity, tourist attraction and is used by many people to walk through to the park.”

He said part of the order was for a replacement tree to be planted and he thought this should be an orchard-type tree that wouldn’t grow too tall.

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A new hedge along the field boundary of the cemetery is being planted on January 26. Any villagers willing to help are invited to come along.

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New LED street lighting will be installed along Northside in February,

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The extended 30mph speed limit on Whittlesey Road is not being obeyed, Dorothy Halfhide told the council. She said she’d been overtaken by two cars travelling very fast and there was nothing from the end of the village to tell drivers it was still a 30 limit.

The city council is being asked to paint 30-signs on the road.

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Ray Wood asked if the Parish Council could see the surveys on the state of Woburn Drive. He was concerned that the road had not been resurfaced following completion of the Thorney Meadows estate.

He also raised concerns about parents parking illegally when picking their children up from the Duke of Bedford School. “They take no notice of double yellow lines,” he said.

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Thorney Parish Council is to hold a closed meeting on January 24 to agree their policy towards Bedford Hall.

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The Parish Council will write to the police thanking them for their efforts when a man went missing in the village last week.

Russ Bevington said four vans, eight policemen and a helicopter with infra-red camera were deployed and a family-liaison officer had been with the family throughout. Along with numerous villagers who turned out to help after seeing an appeal on Facebook, a thorough search of the village had been done.

Dorothy Halfhide said the police had been surprised by the village’s response. Happily, the missing person was safe.

Parish Council may run deficit

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Thorney Parish Council is struggling to balance the books this year and may be faced with an overspend of up to £27,000, depending when payments fall due.

Monday’s Parish Council meeting heard that a range of commitments meant the council may have to draw on reserves and the village could face a rise in its precept – the first in many years – in the new year.

Work being funded includes:

:: Extension to cemetery, drainage, landscaping, fencing and hedge/tree planting.

:: Heritage-style street lights for Church Street and Abbey Place.

:: Contribution to play equipment in the park.

:: Legal charges.

:: Roadworks to reduce the pinch-point in Wisbech Road.

:: Grant for structural survey of Bedford Hall.

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People on the new Thorney Meadows estate are considering setting up a residents’ association and already have their own Facebook page.

Stuart Francis and Helen Baker attended the meeting to ask if the Parish Council could help put pressure on Larkfleet Homes, the estate developer, to finish work on the park, play area and finishing roads and pavements.

Mr Francis said residents were anxious for the park and play area to be completed before winter, otherwise it would not be ready for use before next summer. All the homes are now occupied and residents want to see roads and pavements finished and no more trucks driving about.

Ray Wood said he hoped Larkfleet would resurface Woburn Drive and perhaps that could be done at the same time as the estate roads.

The Council agreed to write to Larkfleet asking them about progress.

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There has been no further progress on Bedford Hall, with Peterborough City Council sitting on a number of actions, it was reported.

Thorney Parish Council has agreed in principle to fund an independent full structural survey and viability study through a grant offered by the Architectural Heritage Fund. This would match funding 50:50 up to a limit of £15,000.

The Council is getting a list of companies able to undertake the work to start a tender process. This is expected to take about six to nine months to complete.

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A decision on whether to spend Parish Council money on new road name plates in an antique style for Church Street and Abbey Place has been deferred.

Church Street resident John Richardson, who has been campaigning for the signs, said seven would be needed and funding had been secured for three of those. The name plates would be white on black and would have the appearance of being cast iron.

Plates would be sited at ground floor level (some are currently much higher) and those on posts would be secured to walls or buildings.

He promised to report back with prices at the next meeting.

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Peterborough City Council was accused of doing a shoddy job of resurfacing pavements along Sandpit Road, Smithfield and Park Close.

Claudine Lewis said tar had been splashed up people’s walls and the green on Smithfield had been hacked up – it looked dreadful.

Nigel Simons agreed. He’d been to look at the work and said he wasn’t impressed. He said he would take it up with the City Council.

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The Parish Council has asked for a “SLOW” sign to be painted on the road along Whittlesey Road where the 30mph limited has been extended.

Dorothy Halfhide said 20mph speed limit signs by the school were contradictory. There were speed limit signs, but another sign stating times the limit was in operation. It was in force all the time.

Margaret Long said one of the 40mph signs as you enter Nene Terrace had fallen off.

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A planning application to convert a house on Dairy Drove into a children’s home has been withdrawn.

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The Parish Council is to raise the poor state of Green Drove and Whittlesey Road with the City Council. Margaret Long said there was a huge crack in the middle of the road on Green Drove, with the surface crumbling, between Sly’s yard and the pumping station. Ken Parish said he’d had numerous complaints about the state of Whittlesey Road.

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There are now only two vacant plots at Thorney allotments. Samantha Godley said, sadly, there had been hardcore and household rubbish dumped on the site and on the field approaching the site.

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The level-crossing gates at the entrance to Kingsline Close are rotten and will have to be replaced.

The gates were to be repainted, but have been found to be too rotten. They were put there by the developers as a planning requirement when the estate was built and mark the site of the old level crossing on Station Road.

The Parish Council is to get an estimate for their repair and may have to take them down. There was a suggestion from resident Helen Baker that the work might be undertaken by inmates of the prison as a skills project. She promised to try to get some information.

Dorothy Halfhide said the gates should be retained and it was important to recognise that the railway had run through there.

The gates are not original. When the development took place, the builders found the original gates had rotted and had the current ones built using the original ironwork. The concrete posts are also original.

The Parish Council is also to inspect the village signs after reports that some of them may be suffering from rot.

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Additional Parish Council noticeboards may be sited in the village near Thorney Food Stores and opposite the school.

Meanwhile, the council’s Facebook page has attracted 132 people, with posts seen by an average of 115 people.

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Ken Parish suggested Thorney might purchase one of the life-size Tommy silhouettes being sold to raise funds for service charities. The council will contact the Royal British legion to discuss the idea.

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Canary Cottage (pictured), the old farm-workers home, sited on Knarr Fen to the east of Thorney, may become a listed building, it was reported.

Dorothy Halfhide said English Heritage were considering whether it should be listed after discovering it was much older than first thought.

She said it was one of very few mud construction buildings with thatched roofs to survive.

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Thorney now has seven trained Speedwatch volunteers and six more waiting for training.

Organiser Sam Godley reported that more speed surveys had been carried out in Station Road with five vehicles caught speeding – one at 39mph.

She said Woburn Drive had been added to their survey sites and they would also be checking speed of vehicles leaving the village on The Causeway.

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The Parish Council is to write to the City Council urging them to clean up the alleyway between St Mary’s Close and Sandpit Road.

The walk-way is overgrown with residents’ hedges and weeds.

 

Work starts next year on new housing estate

Work on building 91 new homes at Park Farm, Thorney is likely to start next year.

The new estate already has planning permission and will sit at the top end of Sandpit Road.

It is likely that Larkfleet Homes, which built Thorney Meadows estate, will be the developer.

Access is not via Sandpit Road, a new road will be built off Wisbech Road at the eastern end of the village.

Landowner, Michael Sly, says tree planting will start on the field alongside the new road this autumn and work should start on the road and houses some time next year.

Golf Club holiday lodges can be built

Thorney Lakes Lodges
Peterborough City council has approved a planning application from the owners of Thorney Lakes Golf Club to build 17 holiday lodges on the site.
The application had been opposed by Thorney Parish Council on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided and was also recommended for refused by the city council’s planning department.
However, the council’s planning committee decided to approve the application.
Parish Council chairman, John Bartlett attended the planning committee meeting and expressed concerns about the plans.
The development can now proceed. The lodges will be sold as holiday accommodation only, permanent residency will not be allowed.

Plans for four executive homes off The Causeway

Causeway Lodge

Rose Homes of Whittlesey has applied for planning permission to demolish Causeway Lodge Farm and associated buildings and build three executive homes.

The company also wants to convert a barn on the site into a fourth home.

The site, on the left-hand side as you enter the village from Peterborough direction, has been derelict for a number of years.

The development would also involve the construction of an access road off The Causeway.

Thorney Parish Council has not objected to the proposals and Dorothy Halfhide said they had to recognise that both the main farmhouse and the cottage are beyond repair.

“I think the proposed buildings look good, and I am very pleased to see that the orchard is largely retained,” she said.

Housing site opposed by Parish Council

Housing site

Another new housing estate has been proposed in the village, but it has already met with opposition from the Parish Council.

Fields between the windmill and the bypass have been suggested to Peterborough City Council as suitable for building 115 new homes.

This followed four tranches of land in and around the village being suggested last year. Of those, only one – a section of land between Larkfleet’s Thorney Meadows estate and the approved Park Farm development – has been accepted as suitable.

The city council had asked landowners to put forward development land in the area as part of its Draft Local Plan, which aims to meet Peterborough’s housing and employment needs through to 2036.

The first set of suggestions has all been assessed, but more came through during the summer, along with a number of sites with revised proposals. These will be assessed before November and the final Local Plan will be adopted in autumn 2018.

Currently farmland, the new site in Thorney comprises 6.16 hectares and it is suggested that 115 houses could be built there. The land includes a section between the windmill and old garden centre, which could be used as access onto The Causeway. Its eastern border adjoins gardens of houses in Chestnut Drive, Ash Close and Berberis Close.

Thorney Parish Council considered the suitability of the new site at its July meeting and voted to reject it on the following grounds:

  • It is in the high-flood-risk zone.
  • The site is best retained as greenfield, agricultural land.
  • The quota for new housing in the village has more than adequately been met.
  • Existing infrastructure is not capable of meeting the demands of additional development. There is insufficient water pressure at the new Woburn Drive development and, in particular, a concern that the village school may not have sufficient capacity.

The Parish Council said if further development in the village was needed in the future, they would support the site between Whittlesey Road and the Larkfleet estate, which the city council has previously rejected.

There are some very big new sites submitted in other parts of the city. One near Castor proposes 2,500 dwellings. There are two sites in Newborough and a couple in Eye.

More village land put forward for housing

Housing site

Another new housing estate has been proposed in the village.

Fields between the windmill and the bypass have been suggested to Peterborough City Council as suitable for building 115 new homes.

This followed four tranches of land in and around the village being suggested last year. Of those, only one has been accepted as suitable.

The city council had asked landowners to put forward development land in the area as part of its Draft Local Plan, which aims to meet Peterborough’s housing and employment needs through to 2036.

The first set of suggestions have all been assessed, but more came through during the summer, along with a number of sites with revised proposals. These will be assessed before November and the final Local Plan will be adopted in autum 2018.

Currently farmland, the new site in Thorney comprises 6.16 hectares and it is suggested that 115 houses could be built there. The land includes a section between the windmill and old garden centre, which could be used as access onto The Causeway. Its eastern border adjoins gardens of houses in Chestnut Drive, Ash Close and Berberis Close.

Thorney Parish council objected to two of the four sites proposed last year on the grounds they were on low-lying land to the north and east of the village that was high flood risk. This latest land falls into the same category and may well be rejected on that basis.

The parish council also feels that with planning permission already approved for around 150 unbuilt homes, the village is near to the total number of new houses it can reasonably accommodate.

There are some very big new sites submitted in other parts of the city. One near Castor proposes 2,500 dwellings. There are two sites in Newborough and a couple in Eye.

 

Three-quarters of homes on new estate already sold

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Almost three-quarters of the homes on the new Thorney Meadows estate have been sold.

Adrian Evans, group managing director of the developers Larkfleet Homes, told the Thorney Post that the homes had sold incredibly quickly.

“I think it is a combination of things – the site location, the design of the houses and the village itself.

“Thorney is a very desirable location, a lot of people want to live here,” he said.

Mr Evans was speaking at the official opening of a showhouse on the new estate (pictured), which will be open seven days a week 10am to 5pm.

There are just 25 homes left to sell out of 80 on the estate and 14 homes are already occupied. All homes are timber-framed with gas installed and come with 1kw solar panels installed.

Room for only one more housing estate, city council told

Thorney can only accommodate one new housing development, the Parish Council has told city planners.

It has thrown its weight behind just one of the four developments proposed in Peterborough City Council’s consultation document on new homes in the area.

Two of these were rejected because they lie within land designated as flood plain and a third site – on land between Whittlesey Road and the new Larkfleet estate – has been rejected by the city council because of previous objections raised by English Heritage.

The remaining site is located between the Larkfleet estate and Park Farm, which already has planning permission for housing. It could see another 80 homes added to the village.

The full response of the Parish Council is detailed below:

COMMENTS ON PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL
DRAFT LOCAL PLAN SITE ALLOCATIONS

Four sites have been proposed for residential development in the Parish of Thorney.

Three of these have been rejected by the City Council and one has been placed in the Preferred Site category.

The general view of the Parish Council is that, with the housing development sites that are under construction together with those that already have planning approval, we are probably close to the total number of dwellings that the parish can reasonably accommodate.

This view seems to be supported by the City Council’s opinion that developing more than your single preferred site would constitute over-development of the village. Our comments on each of the proposed sites are as follows:

SITE: THO001H This is rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain and we see no reason to contest that view.

SITE: THO002H This site is also rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain. Regardless of this we feel that housing in this location would be inappropriate as it would destroy the rural setting of the village. It is also too close to the heavily trafficked Thorney bypass.

SITE: THO003H/Hi When this site was proposed in the previous Site Allocation procedure several years ago, it was rated by the City Council as a Preferred Site. It was English Heritage that raised objections to it and although the independent Inspector did not cite these objections, he objected to it on the grounds of the access road from the Whittlesey Road and the site was rejected. At the time the Parish Council supported development of this site and did not agree with the comments made by English Heritage. We were aware from the developer that the proposals would include a number of grander, detached, up-market dwellings in keeping with the scale and quality of existing properties in the vicinity, and we felt this housing type was needed in the village. It remains a belief that this higher grade of property is still required rather than just the regular scale and density of typical housing development. The City Council have this time rejected the site for exactly the reasons previously put forward by English Heritage. The primary reason being that it is too close to the Conservation Area of the village. As an aside, this site offers the possibility of the construction of a road across the south side of the village linking the Whittlesey Road with the Wisbech Road at the far end of the village. This may be desirable to residents as its advantages would be to reduce the impact of new development traffic through the village on the Wisbech Road and to perhaps change the use of the Woburn Drive access to the new development to emergency vehicles only. If not on this occasion, perhaps this site can be kept under consideration for future development and the other benefits it could bring.

Thorney Plan

Site THO-005 – gets the approval of the Parish Council

SITE: THO005H This site is rated as Preferred by the City Council. It will infill between the housing being built at the end of Woburn Drive and site THO006H which has already been granted Outline Planning Approval. We have no objections to the development of this site other than to raise concerns about the ability of existing infrastructure to accommodate its development with particular reference to drainage and sewerage, but also to the additional demands on the village school and the increase of traffic through the village. In this respect, we would be grateful for sight of the correspondence between yourselves and Anglia Water and the Duke of Bedford School demonstrating that both are able to accommodate the extra demands of this additional site.

SITE: THO006H To our knowledge this site already has Outline Planning Permission.

GENERAL:

  1. Apart from the concerns stated in our comments on Site THO005H we believe that any additional development should bring with it control of traffic speeding through the village in the form of re-instating the speed cameras that at one time were in place along the Wisbech Road.
  2. We also feel strongly that the overall amount of new development in the parish, including Preferred Site THO005H, demands that greater concern is shown by the City Council toward the provision of facilities for the youth of the village. This is already less than adequate and in need of urgent review and improvement. We believe that in authorising development sites and approving planning applications the City Council has an obligation to make provision for matters resulting from their decisions, a major one of which will be the increase in the number of youths in the Parish and the need to provide appropriate facilities for them.
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