Open space is saved from building plans

PUBLISHED: 12:09 12 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:30 28 May 2010

RESIDENTS celebrating the withdrawal of plans to build homes on an open space have been overwhelmed by the support for their campaign. March businessman and Fenland councillor Peter Skoulding wanted to build two executive style houses for his grandchildre

RESIDENTS celebrating the withdrawal of plans to build homes on an open space have been overwhelmed by the support for their campaign.

March businessman and Fenland councillor Peter Skoulding wanted to build two executive style houses for his grandchildren on the Cavalry Drive/Breton Avenue green.

But despite the plans being withdrawn The Friends of Cavalry Open Spaces says it will be keeping a close watch for any future applications. It has also welcomed an initiative by March Town Council to carry out a survey of all open spaces in the town and identify those most at risk from future development.

Sue Pritchard and husband Des, have lived in their Suffolk Way home since it was built 33 years ago. Sue said: "We would like to thank all those people who responded to our story in the Cambs Times. There were between 60 and 70 objections and that certainly helped.

"We hoped Mr Skoulding would withdraw because of all the opposition. It is a victory for people power, if we hadn't done anything about it the plan would have gone through and opened up the way for him to do it in other places. We certainly made the council sit up and think."

Residents say Fenland District Council has maintained the green and they have the original plans and deeds to prove it is a designated open space. They also dismissed Cllr Skoulding's offer of an alternative area at the back of their homes which is currently used as allotments.

Resident Phil Parish, a member of the Open Space Society which supported the campaign, said residents were elated that the plans had been withdrawn.

"It shows to us, the local community, that Snowmountain Enterprises has taken the view that a local community green is more important than development and profit," he said, "especially in a small town like March.

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