‘You now have s**t on your face,’ objector to planning scheme told

The site on land south of 85-89 Upwell Road has been granted outline planning for six homes

An objector to a development on land south of 85-89 Upwell Road has received two abusive and anonymous letters. - Credit: Fenland District Council planning portal

An objector to a controversial housing scheme in March has received two abusive anonymous letters since the plans were approved last month.

Malcolm Gray, of Upwell Road, has been branded a "rat" and told "you now have s**t on your face" after objecting to an outline application to build six homes on land south of 85-89 Upwell Road.

Both letters were sent anonymously after Fenland District Council’s planning committee approved the scheme on March 31.

Abusive letter sent to Malcolm Grey after he objected to a planning application

Malcolm Gray was sent this first abusive letter after a planning application he objected to was approved on March 31. - Credit: Submitted by reader

The first, received on April 7, said: “Dear Mr Rat / or Little Rat,

“We got the development at the back of you on Wed [sic]. You now have s**t on your face.

“Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha.”

The most recent letter arrived on Monday (April 19) where a £2 postage fee had to be paid on collection. Inside, it simply said: “RAT”.

"RAT" letter Malcolm Gray received on April 19

"RAT" letter Malcolm Gray received on April 19. - Credit: Submitted

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Both incidents have been reported to police and a spokesperson said enquiries are ongoing.

Mr Gray said: “I’m really annoyed.

“It’s my right to comment on planning applications. I can say what I like, as long as it isn’t abusing someone and is within the law.

“But this... it isn't acceptable.”

Aerial view of the site where four homes have been granted outline permission in Upwell Road, March.

Aerial view of the site where four homes have been granted outline permission in Upwell Road, March. - Credit: Fenland District Council planning portal

He added: “I heard someone connected to the application was knocking on doors during the November lockdown soliciting support from residents.

“I understand this is allowed, but I’m very concerned it happened during a national lockdown. Many of those people are vulnerable.”

Attempts have been made to contact the applicant.

The agent has said he has "no knowledge of any abusive letters and condemn them". He denies visiting households during the lockdown, or at "any other time".

Entrance to Upwell Road development

Entrance to the site on land south of 85-89 Upwell Road where outline planning has been granted for four homes. - Credit: Fenland District Council planning portal

The site has been previously considered for housing by Fenland District Council.

In 2017, an outline application was submitted for four homes and the formation of new access to the development.

But this was refused by Fenland District Council and a government planning inspector dismissed the appeal as it would harm the character of the area.

In October last year, another outline application for the site went before planners again. This time for six homes and upgrades to the access.

While officers again recommended refusal based on the same reasons as the 2017 application, councillors on the planning committee disagreed and approved the proposals.

Among Mr Gray’s key concerns outlined in his objection letter was that his, and neighbouring gardens, are flooding more frequently.

Flooded garden in Upwell Road, March

Malcolm Gray's garden in Upwell Road, March, was flooded with six inches of water at Christmas. - Credit: Fenland District Council planning portal

He also submitted a photograph of his own garden flooded with six inches of water at Christmas.

He says the problem has been getting progressively worse since a bungalow was built nearby.

In his objection letter, he said: “Developing this site [85-89 Upwell Road] will increase the risk of more surface water flooding to properties fronting Upwell Road.”

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