This week, some of us attended a meeting at Fenland District council to discuss the upcoming review of the Fenland Local Plan with two development/planning officers. We are very grateful to the Fenland staff who made us welcome, and kindly gave their time to explain the process in detail.
The meadow is part of the strategic allocation in the current Fenland Plan, which declares it to be land suitable for development. A full review of this Plan is now underway, in a process which will conclude in 2022. There is extensive public consultation in the first year, and the Save Wenny Meadow group have been accepted as consultees, so we will be able to make representations for the removal of the meadow from the plan. We will publicise the public consultation platforms as widely as possible and hope that a unified cry of outrage from the people of Chatteris may result in the meadow being spared.
However, in the meantime, the existing Plan still dictates policy, and the imminent risk of the developers seeking planning permission is very real. We remain poised to oppose that application and will channel local support at the time. We can expect a very tough fight, because while the meadow remains allocated as development land in the Local Plan, councillors will be advised by planning staff to pass a viable planning application.
So, we have an ongoing two-pronged mission. We will fight any immediate planning submissions and separately lobby for the removal of the meadow from the revised Fenland Local Plan.