Council confirms its U-turn over plans for 450 homes on Estover area of March

Open landscape that was proposed for 450 homes.

Open landscape that was proposed for 450 homes. - Credit: Archant

FENLAND District Council has formally dropped plans to build 450 homes on a site that included the Estover Road playing field in March, supporting a U-turn previously announced by its leader Councillor Alan Melton.

As part of the district’s core strategy, the council had originally planned to allocate 80 acres of land in the north east of the town for housing, including the playing fields.

Hundreds of residents campaigned against the proposal, and six weeks ago Cllr Melton told his cabinet that the plan should be abandoned, saying: “I question whether the council has made the right decision in promoting the development in this area. I have to listen to people and elected members.”

At a full council meeting last Thursday, members backed a motion by Cllr Melton withdrawing the original proposal. Instead, homes earmarked for that area will be allocated to other parts of the town.

Urging the council to drop the Estover Road scheme, campaigner Trevor Watson told Thursday’s meeting: “This 19 acre site has provided a playing field for generations of children. It is the only playing field open to the public in the whole town. It would be a public disgrace to commit this lovely open area to bricks and concrete.”

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Mr Watson also urged the council to reduce plans for 4,200 new homes in the town, but they will remain the same.

The newly amended part of the strategy will go out to public consultation towards the end of this month and last for six weeks. Plans for the rest of the district remain unaltered.

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The core strategy sets out a wide-ranging vision for the development of Fenland over the next 20 years. Once completed, the full strategy will be submitted to the government and examined by an independent inspector. It is expected to be adopted in April 2014.

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