More than 300 people have their say on controversial Whittlesey 249-home Showfield plan at public meeting

The proposed layout of the 249 home site.

The proposed layout of the 249 home site. - Credit: Archant

The scale of opposition to a controversial plan to build 249 houses on the Showfield site north of Whittlesey was clear to see on Wednesday night.

More than 300 people packed the Ivy Leaf Social Club to have their say on Showfield Ltd’s application to Fenland District Council to build on land near the Wash at a public meeting organised by Whittlesey Town Council.

Many residents said the homes would increase traffic, cause flooding problems and put extra pressure on schools and doctors surgeries.

The B1040 was closed for 65 days last winter because of flooding and roads near the site including Teal and Otago Road are often gridlocked.

One resident, Patrick Nightingale, said: “The B1040 floods every year, if these homes get built, all this extra traffic is going to come into the town.


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“The infrastructure of the town will become over-loaded and brought to its knees.”

Mark Wade said: “If you are building on flood land then the water will have to go somewhere else.

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“That somewhere else will probably end up being someone’s back garden.”

Ashley Jones added: “Last week I had a chimney fire and it took the fire service ten minutes to come out.

“Extra homes and more traffic would mean it would emergency services even longer - it’s dangerous.”

Sally Chelford said: “I love living in Whittlesey, it is a beautiful place and I do not want it to change.”

After listening to the views of residents, Whittlesey Town Council’s Planning Committee unanimously decided to oppose the application when they met last night.

Councillors cited the flooding risk, traffic fears, concerns over drainage and potential damage to the site’s biodiversity.

Whittlesey Town Council Chairman Councillor Dee Laws said: “It’s not that we don’t want development in Whittlesey.

“We are not a town council that says not in our back yard.

“We want growth and to encourage development but it has to be in the right area of town, away from the North and the Washes.

“We have a duty of care to existing residents.

“This council has approved 750 houses in Whittlesey. The developer says we have to reach 1,100 homes by 2031 but at that rate we only have to approve 19.4 houses a year to meet the quota.

“We are going to exceed that number and are looking at new developments.

“We are approachable but we are not going to jeopardise the well-being of the people of this town.”

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