Retrospective consent for industrial expansion at Littleport criticised by neighbour who says if it remains he wants it ‘blocked from my view’
PUBLISHED: 13:27 12 August 2019
Planners are expected to decide next month whether an industrial site in Littleport can continue to use farm land it expanded into without first getting permission.
East Cambs District Council is considering a retrospective planning application from David Watson for the "retention of storage, industry and office buildings, including change of use of land from agriculture".
The site is Woodlands at 141 Wisbech Road and Mr Watson's agent has produced photos showing the council the four buildings he hopes to retain.
"The proposals include the change of use of two agricultural buildings, which are now in industrial use," says his agent in a statement to the council.
"It also includes the retention of a prefabricated office building together with the retention of eight industrial/storage units in a single storey brick building".
The statement added: "The retention of the buildings is at the request of the council's enforcement officer who is aware of the application".
The application for planning permission says work on the buildings began in 2013 and was complete by 2017.
The parish council says it has no objection but one neighbour says he has lived there for nearly 40 years and neither he nor other residents had received notification of a change of land use.
The neighbour says a search of the planning history shows up many failed applications for permissions to use this site up until 2013.
"I don't seem to be able to find any planning applications relating to the field being changed from its original state - can you please confirm?" he asked planning officers.
"It seems odd that a piece of land that was involved in so many failed planning applications has now become a hive of industrial and commercial activity. I wonder if I change my residential home into a shop front, whether this would be allowed.
"I suggest I would be instructed to change it back to its original state within the week - maybe less."
He also argued that the "three rows of industrial storage contained and the ugly security fence" were erected in 2018, not before that as stated, and the "monstrosity of a fence was erected eight inches from our boundary."
He said in the unlikely event of the council rejecting the application, he would like a condition that the industrial containers are "totally blocked from our view with a natural bank - a 10ft high bank with trees lined along the top".