Town has plenty of public car parks say developers as they forge ahead with 19 flats in High Street, March

PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:36 22 May 2020

72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC

72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC

Archant

Nineteen flats with commercial/retail units on the ground floor could replace 72-74 High Street, March - a building described by its owners as being in ‘poor condition’.

72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC 72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC

MJS Acquisitions (March) Ltd say that their proposals will be “in keeping with the conservation area whilst taking some of the key design features from the current building”.

The proposed three-storey block will have 11 parking spaces - 20 spaces short of what would normally be required,

But MJS says this is not a problem as those living there won’t necessarily need a car and will be near the town centre “and a range of public transport”.

Their application also adds that “this means that car ownership is not necessary.

72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC 72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC

“A cycle store will be located on site so that residents can securely store their cycles”.

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MJS says that according to Fenland District Council website there are free public car parks located in March near to the proposed site.

“The closest public car park being City Road, which has 183 available spaces, is a three-minute walk from the site,” says MJS.

72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC 72-74 High Street March could be demolished and replaced with ground floor shops and 19 flats in a three-storey development. Fenland Council is considering the plans. Picture; FDC

“Parking demand for residential use is increased in the evenings which coincides with that being the least in demand time for public car parks.

“There are also other public car parks located on Darthill Road, the Market Place, and Mill View.

“In addition to these car parks there are also safe places to park on street nearby.”

The application is now before Fenland planners and one comment says the scheme is out of character and not in keeping with the conservation area.

“With the correct support and guidance, the owner should be asked to ensure the renovation and upkeep of the current building is carried out and the building made an asset to March’s environment,” he said. “Please do not let this application pass.”

March Society, that champions the heritage of the town, told Fenland Council that the demolition of buildings and particularly ones within the conservation area should not be taken lightly. They accept that advisers to MJS have built a convincing argument for the re-development and would not affect nearby listed buildings. They also agreed that it would be an ‘enhancement opportunity’ and they accept new buildings within a conservation area.


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