£47m waterfront project gets go-ahead

Plans to transform a derelict Fenland site in to a vibrant multi-million pound port, business and residential development,have moved a step closer as planners gave the go-ahead to the ambitious project.

Plans to transform a derelict Fenland site in to a vibrant multi-million pound port, business and residential development, moved a step closer yesterday as planners gave the go-ahead to the ambitious project.

The application is the first milestone in the £47m Nene Waterfront Regeneration Project, which will revamp 20 acres of derelict land into a key new site for residential, business and leisure use.

More than 370 new homes will be built, alongside shops, restaurants and leisure facilities as well as a new architectural centrepiece, The Boathouse, which will provide room for 31 new businesses.

The Boathouse will include a yacht club, port office and conference rooms and has been dubbed as the landmark building in the development.

The development, which aims to transform the Nene River frontage, is expected to bring 900 more new people to the area, as well as create almost 140 new jobs.

Developers believe the project will appeal to the professional market, with five-storey buildings maximising river views, but 13pc of the new homes built will be affordable.

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The application also includes a broad mix of homes, which will be set in a series of squares and courts in a bid to enhance the environment and improve links between the town centre and the riverside.

More than 465 off-street parking spaces and 55 on-street parking pays will also be created.

Cllr Geoffrey Harper, portfolio holder for open for business, said: “This £47m regeneration project has the potential to dramatically effect the way Wisbech sees itself and the way potential investors, visitors and new businesses view the town.

“It will hugely improve the economic prospects of the town, widen the employment base and boosting tourism in the town and across Fenland.”

The development has been spearheaded by Fenland District Council, who has joined forces with East of England Development Agency, English Partnership and Go East.

More than £10m has been raised to acquire clear and prepare the site ahead of handing over to the developers.

Steps have already been taken to transform the area and there have been a number of improvements and expansions to the current yacht harbour facilities.

Fenland Council yesterday approved the plans, which they said was the most significant and important application ever to go before its planning committee.

Details of which developers will lead the project is expected to be announced in the near future.

The first stage of the programme of works, will be a cleaning of the site and preparation for the developer to move in.