Manea Parish Council to take over incomplete housing site

A PARISH council has stepped into save an incomplete housing development after the builder went bust.

Hazelmere Homes won a contract to build 13 new homes with a brand new open space in Station Road, Manea.

But the firm went into administration before the site could be finished, lumbering residents with an empty large public area in the middle of the village for more than four years.

Control of the land has now been transferred to Manea Parish Council after it promised to work on a landscaping scheme which will finally put an end to the eyesore.

Residents first raised concerns about the upkeep of open space when Hazelmere Homes was given planning permission to develop the site in March 2005.

To try and allay their fears, councillors passed a Section 106 Agreement demanding the builder create an area of open space once half of the homes were built.

But they were soon getting anxious when the public area promised failed to materialise.

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In a June 2006 letter to Fenland District Council’s then-leader Geoffrey Harper, Manea Parish Council clerk Irene Cook wrote: “They had plans to make the open space a site to be admitted in the centre of Manea. However nothing has been done.”

Councillor Pop Jolley was even forced to cut the grass every week to keep it looking tidy but Mrs Cook added: “Obviously this cannot continue indefinitely.”

Later Hazelmere Homes sat down with residents and council officers after development delivery manager Nigel Brown told the firm it was in breach of legal requirements.

But a recent Fenland District Council report said: “Unfortunately in the midst of negotiations, due to the economic climate, Hazelmere Homes were forced into administration some two years ago.

“Discussion then ceased to continue until administrators for the site were in a position to review the land available.”

The local authority’s planning committee agreed to transfer the land by deed of variation at its last meeting.

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