Residents launch petition as Roddons say they want to build homes on Wisbech car park site

RESIDENTS have clashed over a piece of land which a housing association says is being used illegally as a car park but which residents insist is vital to their community.

Roddons Housing Association want to build two houses on the site in Park Street but face a storm of protest by residents who have so far collected 300 names on a petition opposed to the development.

John Smith of Marsh Walk condemned the proposals and claimed they would have an adverse effect on the area.

He said: “If it was thought to be necessary to provide this parking space in 1977 when there were only 17.8 million cars on the road, surely it is even more important in 2012 when there are over 31 million.”

Mr Smith said: “This parking area is often full to overflowing. If this application is approved then 30 cars will be forced to park on the streets.”

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The car park is currently used by both residents and customers of outlets such as the Three Tuns public house and Just Gentz the barbers’.

Mr Smith said: “Building houses on this site contravenes the conditions of the planning permission granted when Hanchant Court was built in 1977, when it was designated a parking area. There was even �60,000 included in the budget for the purpose of tarmacing the area.”

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But Roddons insist the site “is an area of land currently used for unauthorised parking. “The site’s surfacing is of poor quality with pot holes and is covered with road planings.”

Mr Smith added: “It is unbelievable that Roddons, which makes a big thing about supporting the community and improving residents’ quality of life, should want to build on every open space it can find.”

Fenland Council is now considering the application together with a 138 page ‘site investigation’ report commissioned by Roddons.

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