Housing site at Elm is a monstrosity that looks like a prison of war camp, says councillors

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A new mini estate of 21 homes at Elm has been labelled as looking like the prisoner of war camp Stalag.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A new Roddons social housing site, which is being built at Begdale Road, has been criticised by councillors who took to social media this week to vent their views.

Councillor Dave Patrick said: “We call it the barracks.”

While Cllr Phil Webb said: “It never should have gone through it looks like a creosote shed, black plastic windows and black plastic panelling.

“Residents of Elm plus parish council objections were ignored by the planning committee now we have to live with this monstrosity.”

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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Cllr Virginia Bucknor said: “You will have a sharp intake of breath when you see it. I was appalled when I saw this recently. It’s a real blot on the landscape, made me think of Stalag.”

Cllr Dave Connor said: “Maybe looks are not the greatest but houses are needed, don’t you agree in Fenland. In my view I think you are being a little too hard.”

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Roddons were given permission to build 21 affordable homes at The Dale, in Begdale Road, Elm, in August 2013.

Earlier this year they submitted “minor amendments” including cutting down some trees on the site and altering brick and tile types used for the homes.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams.

Social housing being built in Begdale Road, Elm. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A Fenland District Council officer’s report, recommending approval, said: “The minor changes would not materially alter the appearance of the scheme from that previously approved.

“They will not result in any adverse impacts on the development of the area as a whole.”

The site replaces The Dale, which was an empty and boarded up old style housing complex.

Roddons said it was unsuitable and no longer fit for purpose.

All of the new 21 homes are two storey and a mix of terraced and semi-detached properties. Fourteen will have two bedrooms and seven will have three bedrooms.

The layout includes three rows of terraces and three blocks of semi-detached homes. Access is off Begdale Road and All Saints Close.

Anne Brighton, managing director of Circle Housing Roddons, said: “These new homes have been built as part of our mission to support local people by providing much needed affordable places to live.

“They have been designed to meet certain sustainability standards to provide residents with lower energy costs and help reduce their overall environmental impact.”

•What do you think of the Begdale Road site in Elm? E-mail john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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