Open ... and shut

PUBLISHED: 12:28 16 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:39 28 May 2010

FORMER March Mayor and Fenland District Councillor Peter Skoulding has thrown in the towel over two disputed pieces of land to ensure they can never be built on. Cllr Skoulding said he would accept a conveyance being drawn up to transfer ownership of land

FORMER March Mayor and Fenland District Councillor Peter Skoulding has thrown in the towel over two disputed pieces of land to ensure they can never be built on.

Cllr Skoulding said he would accept a conveyance being drawn up to transfer ownership of land south of 46 Cavalry Drive, March, to Fenland District Council, with the strict proviso it remains open space.

He also said that his company, Snowmountain Enterprises, would not oppose Fenland Council's "rectification of the title" to ensure that a second piece of land, on the corner of Upwell Road and Cavalry Drive, also remains an open space.

It was a process the council started in October 2005 but then halted. Documents held at Fenland Hall revealed the land was the subject of a "deed of gift" made in 1973 to the then March Urban District Council ensuring it remained open space.

During a meeting, also attended by his solicitor Steve McGregor of Frasers, Cllr Skoulding said he hoped his actions would bring both disputes to an end.

Last summer, Cllr Skoulding's company applied to build homes on the land south of 46 Cavalry Drive but later withdrew the application after residents protested.

Hotly disputed claims and counter claims - involving the county and district council and residents - has seen Cllr Skoulding bring the matter to an end.

He said he was not in the business of making applications "as a joke" but felt a decisive move was needed to save Council Taxpayers' money.

Mr McGregor confirmed that Snowmountain held the title to the land south of Cavalry Drive, and that county council officials had not been able to produce an alleged Section 38 highways agreement protecting its use for open space.

Cllr Skoulding felt mistakes had been made by all sides, including officials at Fenland Hall for not following up correspondence with the Land Registry.

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