62 homes for Doddington thrown out by Fenland Council as flood risk, access and ‘adverse impact’ on existing estate raised

Proposed lay out of 62 homes for Bevills Place, Doddington

Proposed lay out of 62 homes for Bevills Place, Doddington - Credit: Archant

A bid to build 62 homes – widely criticised by villagers at a public meeting- has been thrown out by Fenland Council.

Visualisation of the 62 homes for Bevills Close, Doddington

Visualisation of the 62 homes for Bevills Close, Doddington - Credit: Archant

The council claim developers Whetstone “has failed to submit an agreed drainage strategy and therefore there is a potential that the development could have an adverse impact on flood risk”.

Officers who considered the 62 homes east of Bevills Close and north of Eastmoor Lane, Doddington, also believe access is an issue.

“The proposal relies on access which could have an adverse impact on existing housing,” they conclude.

Also considered is what the council believes is a lack of thought given towards “the provision of local and strategic infrastructure including affordable housing”.

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But it is the way into the site that worries planners the most who believe those living at 12-18 Bevills Close and owners of 15 Eastalls Close would suffer unfairly.

Opponents included the parish council who argued the infrastructure was “inadequate” to cope with this number of extra homes.

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They also pointed out how few jobs were available locally and pointed out that local health services were stretched, as too was capacity at the village school.

Environment Agency officials said the 62 homes would involve a connection to the main foul sewerage system “which would pose an unacceptable risk of pollution to surface water quality”.

The council received 116 letters of objection when the plans were first announced and a further 71 when additional consultations were held.

Ironically Fenland Council own a small strip of land and agreed to sell it to developers to allow the scheme to go ahead.

Cabinet reports from 2009 still remain confidential but minutes record “members received and discussed agreements to facilitate the disposal of a small area of land”.

The minutes also record that one cabinet member, Alan Melton, declared a personal and prejudicial interest “by virtue of his business arrangement with Ashley King Developers Ltd who is one of the interested parties in the land”. Cllr Melton retired from the meeting for the discussion and vote.

Councillor Dave Connor of Doddington has fought hard to stop the scheme going ahead, threatening to do “everything legal in my power to stop it. If that means bringing in the biggest machinery in my yards to block the entrance then so be it, I will. That shows how angry I am.”

He said the scheme was impracticable, lacked amenities, lacked proper access, would create traffic issues, and the sewage system wouldn’t be able to cope.

“I promise that if the village continues to oppose it then I will mount a massive protest to stop it,” he said. “It was a surprise to me to learn the council owned some of the land –and an even bigger surprise they hadn’t consulted to parish, or me as a ward councillor, about it.

“If this scheme went ahead it would leave a terrible legacy for the people of Doddington.”

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