Resident's rejoice after flats refused

PUBLISHED: 13:20 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010

RESIDENTS who fought to stop flats being built were celebrating victory after a Government inspector supported their opposition. John Murray, who chaired a public inquiry, backed Fenland District Council which refused permission to CGT Developments for th

RESIDENTS who fought to stop flats being built were celebrating victory after a Government inspector supported their opposition.John Murray, who chaired a public inquiry, backed Fenland District Council which refused permission to CGT Developments for the Peas Hill, March, development.However, there was a sting in the tail for Council Tax payers who must pick up some of the inquiry costs after Mr Murray ruled Fenland "behaved unreasonably" in determining part of the application.That ruling did not stop the celebrations by residents who claimed their two-year campaign had been "a long hard fight to protect our neighbourhood".Protest organiser Angie Stacey said others in similar situations could take heart from their victory."If you believe something is fundamentally wrong, do something about it no matter how tough the going gets."It is a great feeling for this to be endorsed by a representative of the First Secretary of State."CGT wanted to build 33 homes, including 18 flats, on the former Baxters Dairy site and other land off Peas Hill Road.The council refused but have since agreed for 26 terraced and semi-detached homes to be built on the site, a proposal welcomed by nearby residents.Mr Murray accepted the council's concerns over the effect the flats would have on the character and quality of the area."In my view the harm identified is sufficient to justify dismissal," he said.CGT, however, won a partial order for costs after the inspector ruled that while Fenland behaved reasonably by refusing the application on environment grounds, it had acted unreasonably in relating to the objections on car parking provision and bin storage facilities.CGT incurred "unnecessary expense in addressing those reasons for refusal and a partial award of costs is therefore justified".March Town Council had supported the original application claiming "there is a desperate need for flats in March".

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