Development dispute over ‘lapsed’ consent

PLANNING APPEAL: Nick Sykes says Heritage Homes should re-apply for planning permission as he claims consent has lapsed on the Gardeners Lane scheme in Ramsey and that one field has now been reclassified as at risk of flooding. The developer says it has started work within the four-year period required

PLANNING APPEAL: Nick Sykes says Heritage Homes should re-apply for planning permission as he claims consent has lapsed on the Gardeners Lane scheme in Ramsey and that one field has now been reclassified as at risk of flooding. The developer says it has started work within the four-year period required

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PLANNING consent should never have been granted for a housing development in Ramsey as the area has documented problems with flooding.

That’s the view of stamp illustrator Nick Sykes who says Heritage Homes should re-apply for permission as he claims consent has lapsed.

Heritage Homes, however, insists it is fully complying with the planning consent for the Auldyn Walk development on land to the east of Gardeners Lane, having started work within the four-year period required.

Mr Sykes, 49, an illustrator who designs stamps for the Post Office’s philatelic bureau, will raise his objections at a planning inquiry being heard today (Tuesday).

Under application PA03/790, approved by the Planning Committee in July 2006, a total of 159 homes are to be built on two fields as part of larger phased development.

Government plans for a Elderly Mentally Infirm Unit, to be located on the same site were approved in a separate application.

But a new application (PA10/1693) has been submitted to improve access to the unit by altering the lay-out of Gardeners Lane. It is that application which is the subject of the planning inquiry.

But Mr Sykes claims the original planning consent under PA03/790 lapsed in July 2010 after four years in which he says no work was carried out on the site. He claims that the subsequent dumping of thousands of tonnes of crushed stone and spoil on the was therefore being carried out without planning permission.

Mr Sykes believes that Heritage Homes has to re-apply for planning consent but claims that as one of the fields is now classified as a one in 100 year high risk flood zone it is no longer eligible for development and any future application must be limited to the second field.

Heritage Homes director Joe McLoughlin insisted: ‘PA 03/00790/B was approved subject to a number of planning conditions which had to be discharged prior to work commencing on site.

‘Heritage Homes worked hard over an extensive period of time to get the conditions discharged, which we would not have done had we intended to let the approval lapse. Work commenced legitimately on site prior to the expiry of the application and the approval therefore remains valid.’

But Mr Sykes, who lives in Gardeners Lane, said: ‘Field 3 is almost completely within the one in 100 year high risk flood zone. Planning approval should never have been given.’

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