Councillor critical of support for 60 homes at Coates from people living in Bedford, Rushden, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Desborough, Hornchurch, Northampton, Rugby and Waterbeach
PUBLISHED: 11:35 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:35 24 July 2017
Whittlesey Town Council voted unanimously to oppose proposals for 60 homes south east of 208 Coates Road, Coates, claiming schools can’t cope with the additional numbers.
The council also claims those in favour of the scheme have not provided sufficient information to say it has been supported by the village.
Town councillor Ray Whitwell voiced his opposition more loudly in a detailed response to Fenland Council claiming the new estate would be “too large and for far more dwellings than are needed at this moment”.
Cllr Whitwell said the A605 is already busy and with a proposed access onto it this will make conditions worse.
He believes the district council should disregard letters and comments of support from those outside of Coates.
Referring to public consultations organised by the applicants he said the council had received 98 letters of support from people not living in Coates.
“Indeed 53 of these are outside the parish of Whittlesey,” he said. “How can people from Bedford, Rushden, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Desborough, Hornchurch, Northampton, Rugby and Waterbeach have a say in what development takes place in Coates.
“It is ludicrous.”
He accused the applicants of taking the easy route “to ask people they know/friends etc to put in a letter of support. People who do not necessarily have a strong opinion either way will support someone they know”.
Swann Edwards has submitted the scheme to Fenland Council on behalf of a number of land owners: these are listed as Sarah Creedon, Neil Bedford, Paul Bedford, Gary Chamberlain, Colin and Jackie Rust and Philip and Jen Wenham.
Swann Edwards say two exhibitions were held in January and February to explain the proposals.
“Of the responses one was neutral, 46 were objections and 161 were in support,” the firm has told FDC. “This demonstrates demonstrable evidence of clear community support for this application”.
One objector told the council that apart from education she had concerns over GP and dental services and the lack of a local supermarket since Sainsbury’s pulled out of a nearby site.
The bus service, too, she said was inadequate but Swann Edwards insist it will enable “family members to move back to the village they grew up at. This is a common issue in Fenland villages and the mix of housing proposed will allow for families, couples and individuals.
“The development site is central to the village and will stop the spread from the centre of the village along the A605”.