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Bellway Homes abandon bus stops for Cambridgeshire village after 3 councils refuse to maintain them

A 25-page legal agreement – a Section 106 document – included £35,000 for bus shelters

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Eighty-eight homes being built in a Cambridgeshire village will not have a bus shelter after housebuilders Bellway failed to find anyone willing to agree to maintain them. The company has given up hope of the parish council, Fenland District Council or Cambridgeshire County Council looking after them if they get erected.

Bellway gained permission for the new estate in 2022 for the nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington – known as Primrose Grove.

A 25-page legal agreement – a Section 106 document – included £35,000 for bus shelters and real time passenger boards on both the northbound and southbound bus stops on March Road.

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Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington - known as Primrose Grove (visual, right). On the left is the outline plans showing location of the bus stops

Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington – known as Primrose Grove

But as Bellway agents pointed out to the council last month “it has become apparent now that the provision of bus shelters as required by the outline permission and associated S106 agreement are no longer required, as there will be no adopting parties for maintenance”.

Bellway is proposing that “references to the provision of bus shelter should be omitted from the S106 agreement, and the required contribution amount should be revised accordingly”.

Instead of £35,000 it will pay £21,000 for a ‘bus stop contribution’ instead of a ‘bus shelter contribution’ as previously agreed.

Correspondence between the council and Bellway is on the Fenland Council planning portal.

One email last November from Bellway to the council pointed out that both Fenland District Council and Wimblington parish council had declined to adopt the bus shelters.

In another email to Bellway, Fenland Council told them: “It appears that the county council requested the bus stop/shelters to be provided as part of the application and the financial contribution within the Section 106 legal agreement towards their on-going maintenance.

“The assumption was therefore that CCC would adopt these, but it has since transpired to have been an error on CCC’s part.

Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington - known as Primrose Grove (visual, right). On the left is the outline plans showing location of the bus stops

Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington – known as Primrose Grove

“This issue was not flagged up during the approval of the detail of the shelters recently; therefore, unfortunately these details have been approved, with CCC now confirming they will not adopt the shelters”.

It was suggested “in terms of moving forward, you may wish to submit a new shelter design which would be acceptable to FDC or the parish council in terms of adoption” but Bellway has opted for removing the agreement.

An earlier email from Fenland Council said there may have been “some confusion in respect of bus stops and bus shelter asset responsibility and who is responsible for which within Fenland.

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“I have raised this with our planning officers and await a response. The county council are responsible for bus stops, and this extends to RTPI (real time passenger information) stops and in this respect I can’t see a reason for these not to go ahead, however I am less clear on the shelter provision side of things.

“Generally, the district council do not have bus shelters within the villages and if FDC were to agree to adopt new shelters within Wimblington, this is likely to cause some upset amongst some of the other parishes”.

On November 17, Bellway wrote to Fenland Council and revealed they had held a meeting with Wimblington Parish Council “on site earlier this week who confirmed they will not adopt the 2 new bus shelters (or any others within the Wimblington parish).

Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington - known as Primrose Grove (visual, right). On the left is the outline plans showing location of the bus stops

Bellway Homes building 88 homes on a nine-acre site off March Road, Wimblington – known as Primrose Grove Above: Outline plans showing location of the bus stops

“We have also liaised with Cambridgeshire County Council who have confirmed they have a strict policy not to adopt bus shelters.

“I believe FDC have already been in discussion with CCC regarding the adoption of the bus shelters.

“It is my understanding there are now only 2 options going forward. 1. Fenland District Council adopt the bus shelters and associated real time passenger information system.

“There is a S106 contribution relating to the adoption of the shelters which FDC would receive to fund the ongoing maintenance of the shelters and RTPI system. 2. The planning condition relating to the bus stops is varied to remove the shelters entirely”.

Bellway said the bus shelters “could be a missed opportunity to improve the infrastructure in the area”.

An earlier email, of November 9, from a Fenland Council officer felt that in his view, that as the shelter would be located within the parish of Wimblington “it should be for the parish to determine the type of shelter they require and for them to be responsible for the future maintenance.

“If the parish are not prepared to adopt the new shelters then some internal discussions would need to be had at FDC in respect of this development”.

Bellway says their housing estate will include 66 two, three and four-bedroom houses for private sale, alongside 22 affordable homes available for local people through low-cost rent or shared ownership.

Bellway will also provide landscaped public open space and a children’s play area, while all the homes at Primrose Grove will come with a private garden.

 

 

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