How to make a good written objection

A planning application to build 93 homes on Wenny Road Meadow has been submitted. We’d like as many people as possible to object to these plans.

Click here to go to the Fenland District Council comments page and submit your objection.

Objecting via the Fenland District Council website is easy. The more well-justified, valid planning reasons you can include in your written comments the more impactful your statement. Planning law calls these “material considerations”.

This might take a bit more time, but it’s well worth having a go! We’ve got lots of ideas on this page, which we have broken down into categories. Choose some you’re interested in and write about why they’re important.

If you want to have a go at adding in some slightly more detailed arguments that reference council policies and documents from external organisations, click here to see our guide on that. If you think you might be short of time, submit a more simple comment instead – any objection is better than no objection.

Access to green space

Here are some ideas of things you might include in your comments:

  • The National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 99) says that existing open spaces should not be built on unless certain criteria are met, but none of those three criteria appear to have been met.
  • Chatteris has no other area of Accessible, Unstructured Natural Green Space (space that isn’t a recreational park) of this size and quality.
  • Chatteris has very few places with large, mature trees. Where mature trees do exist, they are typically the boundary of an area or within a housing development, not within the setting of a larger green space.
  • Although we’re in the countryside, Chatteris is “land-locked” by arable farming land, which isn’t suitable for walking. Other walking routes around town tend to be purely linear (like The Old Railway Line) or involve walks through built-up areas.
  • Access to green space and the outdoors is important for people’s mental and physical health.
  • During lockdown, the need for access to green spaces in people’s local area became incredibly important. Without the meadow, people would have had to drive to another town for access to a similar space – something that was not permitted, and would always be outside the reach of those without access to a car or adequate public transport.
  • The Fenland Local Plan says that the council will protect places that are locally valued, especially the Fen landscape. This proposal does not fulfil the council’s objective to preserve this landscape that people in Chatteris value dearly.


Here are some ideas of things you might include in your comments:

  • The meadow is home to a range of plants and animals. 11 of these species are “priority” species in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Biodiversity Action Plan. The Fenland Local Plan says that the council will promote the “preservation and increase of priority species”. The council will fail to meet this commitment if it grants permission to build on Wenny Meadow.
  • The developer’s own ecology report found 31 species of birds (8 on the “red list”, and 5 of those breeding on site).
  • The developer’s own ecology report found 10 species of bats, including the rare barbastelle bat – the presence of which could qualify the meadow for “County Wildlife Site” status.
  • The developer’s own ecology report found three different types of reptile, making the meadow a “key site” for reptiles according to the accepted definition set by Froglife.
  • The meadow provides a kind of habitat not available anywhere else in Chatteris, meaning that any displaced wildlife would have no alternative habitat to move to.
  • The developer’s 2014/2015 invertebrate survey found that there were 811 types of invertebrate living in the meadow, and that the meadow was of county level importance for invertebrates.

The Environment

Here are some ideas of things you might include in your comments:

  • As COP26 approaches, the world’s attention is focusing on climate change and environmental concerns. Building on greenfield sites is damaging to the environment in comparison to the development of brownfield sites.
  • Additional developments in Chatteris, which does not have a railway station and has no evening public transport provision, will result in more car journeys – and more pollution – than an equivalent development in any of the other Fenland towns.
  • The meadow floods on a regular basis, and building upon it could put other homes on Wenny Road and Cricketer’s Way at risk.

Local Infrastructure and Amenities

Here are some things you might include in your comments:

  • Infrastructure and amenities around Chatteris are already very strained, even before the building of the 1,000 new homes at Tithe Barn and 250 new homes at Womb Farm – both of which have already been approved.
  • The Tithe Barn and Womb Farm developments already increase the size of Chatteris by 27.5% in comparison with the 2011 census, which is a considerable amount of growth for Chatteris to experience in such a short timeframe.
  • A frequent complaint within the town is that the GP surgery is very busy and unable to cope with demand, with this matter being a topic of discussion at several Town Council meetings. The developer says that “with the new health centre in place, the proposal would not significantly impact upon the provision of other existing health services in the local area or result in an under-provision of services for the existing and proposed population” The health care centre referred to by the developer was due to be built as part of the Tithe Barn, but this was removed from the scheme in favour of a monetary contribution towards healthcare. Therefore, the health impact assessment cannot be correct.
  • Chatteris has insufficient leisure facilities to support its existing population. For example, there is no public swimming pool and swimming lessons at the community pool are often already oversubscribed.
  • The town’s secondary school, Cromwell Community College, is almost at capacity before the Tithe Barn and Womb Farm developments are even built.
  • The application doesn’t do enough to deal with drainage, meaning that other parts of the wider development would be left with costly drainage issues to resolve.
  • Chatteris does not have a railway station, adequate evening bus service, or any cycle routes into/out of the town.

History and Archaeology

Here are some things you might include in your comments:

  • The meadow is actually the former Manor Park that was attached to Chatteris’ Manor House. The meadow was designed as a “landscape park” in Victorian times – Chatteris’ very own “Mansfield Park” or Holkham park. It was used for local picnics and fairs for more than 100 years.
  • There are interesting archaeological features, such as evidence of medieval farming displayed in its ridge and furrow earthworks. Although the “most interesting” archaeological features are not being built on, they do extend to the parts of the site covered by these plans.

Submitting your objection

Click here to go to the Fenland District Council comments page and submit your objection.

You’ll need to enter your personal details, choose some reasons why you’re objecting from the list, and then paste in your comment.

Make sure you pick the “object” option when the form asks for your stance.

Tips and advice:

  • Try to avoid simply copying and pasting information from this page – the more personal you can make your comments, the more impactful they will be.
  • Please be polite.
  • Don’t accuse the developers or councillors of wrong doing, working for financial gain, etc.
  • Multiple people in one household can submit an objection (we think you may have to be over 18, but this isn’t clear).
  • If you later decide you want to write a more detailed comment, you can submit a second objection (but please don’t abuse this or make too much work for planning officers).
  • The form on the Fenland planning portal “times out” after a period of time. If you are writing a long submission, we suggest writing it in a separate application and copying it into the form before you send it.
  • If you have any problems (e.g, the Fenland website isn’t working) follow the instructions for submitting via email. They are a little further down this page.

Click here to go to the Fenland District Council comments page and submit your objection.

If your submission is longer than 2,500 characters, includes formatting (section headers), or you want to submit photos, diagrams, or other evidence

The form on the Fenland District Council website only permits 2,500 characters to be submitted. It doesn’t allow any formatting like headings, etc, and it doesn’t allow you to submit attachments.

If you want to do any of these things, you need to either email or post your submission to the council. They should then upload your submission to the planning portal within a few days.

You must quote the application reference “F/YR21/0981/F” and you must include your postal address in your email or letter.

Send your comments via email to

Send your comments via post to: Development Services, Fenland Hall, County Road ,March, PE15 8NQ

We recommend that you keep an eye on the documents page of the planning portal to ensure your comment gets uploaded. If it hasn’t appeared within a week or so, you should check that the council has received it successfully. If you need any help, contact us.

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
    • RSPB
    • Wildlife Trust
    • Green Party