BREAKING NEWS: Council leader declares U turn on 450 homes plans for Estover area of March

Open landscape proposed for housing. Estover playing fields development.

Open landscape proposed for housing. Estover playing fields development. - Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS have won a victory for Estover Road playing field after the leader of Fenland council made a shock announcement that they no longer plan to develop it with an estate of 450 homes.

In a massive U turn council leader Alan Melton admitted he may have made a mistake in pushing ahead with the idea.

“I question whether the council has made the right decision in promoting the development in this area,” Cllr Melton told his Cabinet tonight.

“I am therefore asking the council to think again as to whether we should continue to promote this site as an area of allocated growth.”

For months, angry protests and objections from 700 residents fell on deaf ears as planners looked set to ride rough shod over local opinion and push ahead with the development.

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Now, however, they want to totally delete the scheme and leave the field as public open space.

Cllr Melton said: “I have to listen to people and to elected members.

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“I take on board their comments, concerns and their vision for a better Fenland.

“With this in mind, I have been listening very carefully to the concerns that many people and local members have expressed. I share many of these concerns.”

He has called for a full council meeting, to be held in May or June, to thrash out opinion on Fenland’s core planning strategy, a document outlining where homes may be built in the area.

“I shall be recommending to cabinet and council that the proposed allocation of the site at North East March be deleted,” he said.

“The council will discontinue promoting the site.”

Once the meeting has taken place and amendments to the plan agreed, the council will need to carry out a thorough six week consultation to revise the core strategy, so that everyone can comment or object to the final document.

This will then be submitted to the Government for an independent inspection.

Cllr Melton said: “I trust that all members will be backing me and this course of action.”

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