Fenland Council dismiss outcry over bollards claiming ‘we own the land and we’re not obliged to provide you with free parking’
- Credit: Archant
Fenland District Council is under-fire from residents angry after three bollards were put up blocking a parking area on a Chatteris housing estate.
The bollards mean residents of Fen View can no longer access the parking spaces they have used for nearly three decades and as a result are now causing problems for people living on adjoining Harold Heading Close.
A council spokesman said: “This is land we own, parts of which have previously been leased for garages or storage. Those leases have been terminated.
“The bollards have been put in place to prevent continued unauthorised parking to allow us to dispose of the land.
“Discussions have been held with residents to seek ways of easing any parking problems. The planning application has been withdrawn while those discussions continue.
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“The council is not obliged to provide residents’ parking areas and the ever-increasing pressures on our finances make it more important than ever that any areas of surplus land are disposed of and put to better use as swiftly as possible.”
Chatteris Town Council discussed the issue following a letter from a Harold Heading Close resident who pointed out the displaced cars from Fen View are causing congestion at the entrance to the close.
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Fenland Council owns the site which houses six garages, three of which are leased to Fen View residents, and is looking to build three properties on the land. Up to nine cars regularly used the parking area before it was blocked off.
A planning application for the three homes was discussed by the town council in November 2013 when Fen View residents packed the meeting to express their anger at the proposal and raising the issue of lack of alternative parking space on the estate.
At that time the town council recommended the application for refusal and the district council withdrew the plans to allow for some minor alterations.
A letter from Fenland’s Head of Planning Graham Nourse to colleague Mark Wedge, who made the application on behalf of the council, explained there was a need to extend the deadline for determining the proposals because of “outstanding issues relating to the lease of the existing garages/sheds and the implications this may have on the parking provision within the area.”
Town council clerk Joanna Melton said councillors were concerned at the latest development and are writing to Fenland Council asking why the bollards have been put up blocking access to the parking spaces and pointing out that residents have a legal right to park on the land.
“We want to know why they have put the bollard up, taking away what’s always been there by making the area inaccessible. Fenland obviously believe they have the right to the land, but we are questioning the residents’ right to it,” said Mrs Melton.