About the campaign
We inititally requested a review of the Fenland Local Plan in order to reverse the ruling that the meadow is land suitable for develoment. However, the next review is not going to take place until at least 2019, so we must instead focus on the full planning application when it is submitted to Fenland District Council.
We will have a period of 21 days to register our objections. The planning committee has the authority to rule against the Fenland Plan, but they are unlikely to do so unless there is a huge body of objection.
So, we need to demonstrate the strength of opinion. Planning objections are often most successful if rooted in policy. We have identified three key areas of government policy which challenge the loss of the meadow. They are:
- The Cambridgeshire Green Infrastructure Strategy 2011 states: that ‘Chatteris is deficient in all standards of Accessible Natural Green Space’ and ‘at the moment there is a shortage of open space compared to the size/population in Chatteris’
- Wenny Meadow fits every criterion for Designated Local Green Space as laid out in the National Planning Policy Framework:- reasonable proximity to the community it serves
– demonstrably special to a local community, having beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity and richness in wildlife
– is local in character and not an extensive tract of land
- The Fenland Local Plan is self-contradictory with respect to The Meadow, since Policy LP1 states: “at the heart of the strategy for Fenland is a desire to deliver sustainable growth…that brings benefits for all sectors of the community – for existing residents as much as for new ones”.We can demonstrate that The Meadow is precious to many residents in Chatteris, and that the loss of this amenity would be to the serious detriment of existing residents.
Of course, there are many other grounds for objection. Concerns about destruction of trees, loss of habitat for wildlife, traffic safety, drainage and other infrastructure provision are just a few. We hope that individuals will make their concerns clear to the council in their letters.
Campaign’s plan of action
- Engage with Fenland District Council, and organise letters (and petitions) to demonstrate the strength of feeling in the town.
- Request a site visit to demonstrate the beauty of the place
- Conduct tree “audit” and examination of Tree Preservation Order status (TPO)
- Write to local MP
- Raise awareness in the town through posters, contact cards, leafletting, door-to-door petitioning, events, press coverage, etc
- Seek out potential funding solutions for purchase of the site and ongoing upkeep…
- National bodies who may be able to help us with the campaign, or provide funding to purchase the meadow e.g:
- National Trust
- Woodland Trust
- Campaign for Protection of Rural England
- Open Spaces Society
- Lottery Heritage Funds
- Street Pride
- Wildlife Trust
- Green Party