What’s going on at Wenny Meadow? A pictorial explanation of the East Chatteris BCP site

We want to make sure that everyone has information about:

  • the land ownership at Wenny Meadow,
  • where the proposed 93 houses will/won’t be built,
  • land ownership of the wider East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan site, and
  • how the proposed 93 homes at Wenny Meadow relate to the wider plan to build a total of 350 homes on and around Wenny Meadow.

We thought it’d be useful to share some maps to explain. It is important that everyone has an opportunity to understand the proposals (including the wider East Chatteris BCP scheme) ahead of the parish poll.

You can view the full planning application (including documents, plans, and public comments) on the FDC website.

The development plan overlayed against the aerial view of the site

This is an aerial view of the bit of land we call “Wenny Meadow”, with the developer’s plans for 93 homes overlayed on top (plans correct as of September 2021, now subject to minor amendments).

This is the image that was on all of the leaflets that Save Wenny Road Meadow campaigners delivered across Chatteris in September, since we wanted to make sure that the information provided was accurate and clear. It clearly shows which bits of the meadow will be built upon, and which bits will be left as open space. The developers refer to the bit they aren’t building on as the “archaeological protection zone” because of the medieval ridge and furrow landscape, but the ridge and furrow earthworks continue across the entire site.

This image was created by combining the plans submitted by the developer as part of planning application F/YR21/0981/F with an existing aerial view from Google Maps.

A diagram showing the ownership of land at the East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan site

This diagram shows the entire East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan (BCP) site, denoted by the coloured parcels of land. This entire site – bounded by Wenny Road, the A142, Wenny Recreation Ground, and The Elms – will be filled with 350 homes in total.

When we refer to “Wenny Meadow” we’re talking about the area shaded in blue. This is land that used to be owned by Arthur Rickwood.

The different colours denote different land ownership. The land in the top-right, shaded in a yellow-green colour, is owned by Fenland District Council. The council’s investment board is preparing a planning application for this land, and in the six months from August 2021 to February 2022 spent £87,285 on planning services, advice, and consultancy.

The 93 homes on Wenny Meadow are just the first phase of this scheme.

The land ownership diagram is from page 19 of the East Chatteris BCP report (2017).

A diagram showing the different development names for character areas within the East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan site

This diagram, taken from page 45 of the East Chatteris BCP report (2017), shows the development broken up into “character areas”. Each of these character areas has been named.

The current application for 93 homes on “Wenny Meadow” only covers “Parkside” and “The Spinney”. The other 250+ homes will go elsewhere across the East Chatteris BCP site.

You can also see the archaeological protection zone marked on the left-hand side. This will be left as “open space”, but will be significantly different in character to the tranquil space and rich habitat that Wenny Meadow currently provides.

A diagram showing the road connections across the East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan site

This diagram, taken from page 47 of the East Chatteris BCP report (2017), shows the intended highway connections at the site. These are depicted by red dashed arrows.

The entire site is served by just two access points off Wenny Road. These access points will serve all 350 homes, all the way up to the FDC-owned land in the very North East of the site (near The Elms). The two access points will come straight out onto Wenny Road and are relatively close to the junction with the A142.

Because all of the East Chatteris BCP site is accessed via Wenny Meadow, under the current proposals the other parcels of land cannot be accessed unless the Wenny Meadow application is approved. This includes the FDC-owned land. The council has already spent £87,285 of taxpayers’ money preparing for development, without yet knowing whether or not it will benefit from access via the Wenny Meadow part of the development.

A detailed plan of the Wenny Meadow development site

This diagram (taken from planning application F/YR21/0981/F) shows the Wenny Meadow site in some detail. The 93 homes are all marked on, as well as the archaeological protection zone. You can also see that where there were two road connections to the wider site in the East Chatteris BCP, the developer is currently only proposing one road connection at the top of the site. This means that all traffic for the remaining 250+ homes will have to enter the rest of the site via that single entry point.

An historic map showing the former Chatteris Manor Park

Here is an historic map showing the extent of the former Manor Park. It is shaded in grey on this map, which dates from the turn of the 20th Century.

The upper portion of the Manor Park has already been built on, with a number of homes forming a road named “Parkside” that feature the Grade II Listed icehouse as a focal point in the middle. The eastern end of that part is now a paddock with horses in it.

The lower part represents the part we’ve been referring to a “Wenny Meadow” and is the only part of the wider East Chatteris BCP that we are campaigning to preserve.

The park is recorded in the Cambridgeshire Historic Environment Records with record number 12046, with the location and extent matching that shown in this old map. It is also featured in a book called “The Gardens of Cambridgeshire: A Gazetteer by Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust”.

An aerial view of Chatteris with approved housing developments marked on it

This final map shows the locations and plans of other medium and large developments which have received planning approval in Chatteris. Together they will deliver about 1,350 homes, which is the number specified in the 2014 local plan. This number has been achieved without the approval of any of the homes in the East Chatteris Broad Concept Plan because 356 of the approved homes are on land not allocated for development in the local plan.

They are:

– 1,000 homes at Tithe Barn (F/YR10/0804/O)
– 248 homes at Womb Farm (F/YR19/0834/O)
– 58 homes near West Street (F/YR15/0512/O)
– 50 homes at land south of Fairbairn Way (F/YR19/0152/O)

One comment

  1. Hag says:

    May I humbly suggest to include a graphic showing the number of housing developments already having been given planning permission of 1298.

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