May 25 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition objecting to a proposal which would see 80 acres of land in March cleared to make way for housing.
Residents were angered by the Fenland Communities Development Plan, which highlighted Estover Park as a possible site for development.
Protesters presented Fenland District Council with a petition boasting 568 signatures on Wednesday.
They say the proposal to build homes around Estover Road - on land which includes farmland and Estover Playing Field - should be deleted from the council’s core strategy.
Trevor Watson spoke at a meeting to discuss the plans last month, which about 100 residents attended.
He said: “The total number of signatures on the petition now stands at 685. It just shows how concerned and angry residents are about these proposals.
“It’s a tremendous number of signatures to get in just a week and a half of petitioning. We were overwhelmed and very pleased.
“Every door I knocked on people wanted to stay and talk about it. They thought it was crazy.
“The feeling is incredibly strong. I have been involved in other petitions and I’ve never known a community to feel so strongly about a development.”
The council’s plan said it needed to build 11,000 more homes across the district to “meet the needs of a growing workforce”.
Its core strategy suggested focusing growth of “safe and high quality design” developments in Fenland’s market towns and proposed a series of sites including Estover Playing Field and land behind Kingswood Park.
The residents’ petition says the scale of housing proposed would “destroy the rural character of the area and the amenity of its residents”.
There are concerns about “visual intrusion” into the countryside, a “large-scale increase in traffic” and the lack of space in the town’s primary and secondary schools which would result in “paying more Council Tax to help pay for new schools”.
The protesters also claim that Estover Playing Field is “the only major open space in this part of town” and it needs improving - not clearing for housing.