‘Absolutely livid’ councillor threatens to park machinery at access to stop housing development in Doddington that he claims would leave village with a ‘terrible legacy’

Proposed lay out of 62 homes for Bevills Place, Doddington

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

A councillor says he was “absolutely livid” to discover that Fenland Council has sold land that will enable 62 homes to be built that are overwhelmingly opposed by most people in Doddington.

Cllr Dave Connor. Picture: Steve Williams.

Cllr Dave Connor. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Dave Connor, returned unopposed to Fenland Council, said he had no idea until the Cambs Times broke the story earlier of the sale of the piece of land.

“To say I am absolutely livid is an understatement,” he said. “This housing scheme is wrong on every level and a public meeting last year voted unanimously to oppose it.

“I had no idea until today that Fenland Council owned some of the land and had now sold it to allow the application to go ahead.”

Cllr Connor said: “I will 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 off Bevills Place 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.

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

Fenland Council has confirmed the sale of land that will enable 62 homes to be built at Doddington even though a public meeting has widely condemned the proposals.

Using delegated powers, the council has “reaffirmed the Cabinet decision of October 2009” to sell the land at Bevills Place for an undisclosed sum. The council says the 62 homes- 16 of which will be affordable- will also enable an extra 1.4 acres to be provided as an additional playing field for the primary school.

The planning committee can expect to be asked to decide the fate of the application in coming months now the council has completed the sale.

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.

The application is opposed by Doddington Parish Council which says they have the support of 130 people who attended a public meeting and were unanimously opposed to it.

Clerk Roger Wilkin said: “The existing pubic sewage system cannot adequately cope with the existing needs of the village.”

He says the council is concerned over inadequate infrastructure to cope with a development of this size.

And he argued the applicants were using a transport statement citing speed surveys which were undertaken in 2009.

However the county council says that whilst they would like data not to be older than three years “speed data is less susceptible to variation over time than traffic volumes”.

The county council admits “accesses would appear slightly convoluted however it remains geometrically acceptable and safe for all users”.

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