Bid to demolish former Littleport shop and replace with homes refused by planners
A bid to demolish an empty shop that has been part of Littleport for more than 100 years and replace it with six homes has been turned down by planners.
The empty store in Wellington Street was once home to Bamber’s electrical business but Fen Developments was refused permission for replacement housing.
East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) argued that the loss of the mid-twentieth century property – which is featured on a map of Littleport in 1887 – would have a “detrimental impact”.
The council felt that Fen Developments had not proved that it was no longer “fit for purpose” or that it could not be used as new community facility.
Littleport Parish Council supported the proposals saying they had “no concerns” about the application.
Fen Developments put forward a heritage statement which claimed that “the building has some significance, but that significance has been harmed in the past by its conversion to retail use.
“The proposal provides two houses each with three bedrooms and rear gardens attached to an archway over which is a single bedroom flat, accessed by stairs from the archway entrance.
“The design is contemporary, but it reflects the commercial buildings often found to the rear of roadside property.”
Three letters of objection were received from residents raising concerns over loss of privacy, increase in traffic and loss of an old building situated in the conservation area.
One resident in Wellington Street wrote: “There are many factors to take into account before this site becomes clear of problems.
“I am very surprised that even an architect would expect such a high number of houses to be built in such a small area.
“This is a conservation area and this should be kept as such.”
Anne James, case officer for ECDC planning, said the development would “fail to preserve and enhance the special character” of Littleport.
“Six market dwellings would have temporary economic benefits including employment on the construction site,” she said.
“But it would have a detrimental impact on the conservation area and not provide an acceptable living environment.”
Plans were first submitted in September 2018 for seven houses but this was later amended to six.
Fen Developments Ltd is an Ely based company run by Malvin and Julie Rogerson.