Townsfolk rally to pay the cost of fighting homes plan - which in their case so far is a whopping £15,000

How the development would look.

How the development would look. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners against 249 homes planned in their town have raised a whopping £15,000 to help fight the proposal at a planning appeal next week.

The Showfield Action Group will use the cash donated by fellow opponents to pay for planning lawyers, expert witnesses and a barrister to forward their case.

Plans for 249 houses on the former showfield site, in Whittlesey, was turned down by Fenland District Council last December following a strong showing by residents at a public meeting two months earlier.

The developer, Showfields Ltd, immediately appealed the council’s decision to refuse planning consent.

The scheme was turned down for a number of reasons including flood risk, traffic safety and the impact on the nearby Whittlesey Wash, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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A music concert was held at the Ivy Leaf Club by the action group, with an on-line appeal to boost the funds.

Norman Taylor, action group member, said: “This is a great example of the community demonstrating that they won’t let developers get their own way without a proper fight.

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“We have registered as a formal party at the appeal, which takes place next week at Fenland Hall from Tuesday to Friday (September 23–26).

“We have also been able, with the support of Whittlesey Town Council, to get an open evening at the Manor Leisure Centre next Wednesday. This will start at 7pm and will be attended by the Planning Inspector, who will hear first hand the issues and concerns of residents.

“I have been amazed at the level of generosity and support of the community, which has enabled us to do this on their behalf. We are lucky to live in a community that feels so strongly about their environment.”

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