Public meeting claims Doddington can’t cope as villagers offer resounding ‘NO’ to extra 62 homes

Visualisation of the 62 homes for Bevills Close, Doddington Visualisation of the 62 homes for Bevills Close, Doddington

Thursday, July 17, 2014
12:01 PM

Residents reacted furiously last night to proposals for 62 homes on a site they claim has poor access and is liable to flood.

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They also claimed that the village school couldn’t cope with the extra pupils even though the developers had claimed education chiefs were “very positive” about their plans.

Roger Wilkin, clerk to the parish council who organised the meeting, said there had been unanimous opposition to the homes plan.

“There were 100 names opposed to the application on comments submitted at the end of the meeting,” he said. “Councillor Billy Whitaker asked if anyone supported it and not one hand was raised.”

Whetstone Developments has applied to build the estate east of Bevills Close and north of Eastmoor Lane.

“The proposed scheme has been worked up in close consultation with both highway officers and planning officers at Fenland District Council,” says architect Lee Bevin.

Mr Wilkin said the public meeting had been arranged to ensure the architect could attend but earlier this week he had been told Mr Bevin had “double booked” and was unable to be there.

The Methodist church hall was packed for the meeting and Mr Wilkin said a head count showed 120 people in the room with others unable to get in forced to stand in the foyer or use an adjoining room.

“The parish council called the meeting after realising there would be quite a bit of feeling around the village,” he said.

The council had been aware of interest in building on the land and in 2008 permission had been refused for 44 homes.

“There was a lot of comment about disposal of soiled waste and normal drainage,” said the clerk. “The village generally has problems in disposal of those services, a lot of areas get blockages”.

He said there was concern about the access through a cul de sac and especially about the potential for another 50 children at Lionel Walden school which had nowhere to put them and no plans for an extension.

He agreed Doddington was a growth village under the local plan for Fenland “providing the infrastructure can cope with it. Anglia Water for instance has said there are no plans for improving their service to the village.”

The level of objections will mean Fenland Council will ask its planning committee to determine the application.

Councillor David Connor said: “Let’s hope common sense and localism will prevail when the planning committee meets.”

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