Watch this space

PUBLISHED: 13:50 02 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:37 28 May 2010

March councillors John West, Trevor Quince, Barry Howlett and Jan French are among those receiving the open spaces petition from Margaret Martin, right

March councillors John West, Trevor Quince, Barry Howlett and Jan French are among those receiving the open spaces petition from Margaret Martin, right

AN investigation into the ownership of open spaces has been called for by the Mayor of March, Councillor Jan French. Presenting a petition to Fenland District Council on behalf of about 400 residents, Cllr French said it was vital that confusion over who

AN investigation into the ownership of open spaces has been called for by the Mayor of March, Councillor Jan French.

Presenting a petition to Fenland District Council on behalf of about 400 residents, Cllr French said it was vital that confusion over who owns the land on the town's Cavalry Estate should not be repeated.

The petition was drawn up after residents, already outraged by plans to build on one parcel of land, discovered another piece of land, which they believe could be under threat, had been gifted to the town in the 1970s.

Ownership of the land at the corner of Upwell Road and Cavalry Drive has been claimed by both Fenland District Council and businessman and councillor Peter Skoulding.

Cllr French said: "This cannot be right that a company can claim land that belongs to this council and the people of Fenland.

"I hope that we can have a full survey of what land we do actually own and have a full investigation of what has gone on - and make sure this sort of thing never happens again anywhere in Fenland."

She said residents who had signed the petition felt it was the only way their opinions would be heard.

Cllr French said two planning applications submitted but later withdrawn by Cllr Skoulding's company, Snowmountain Enterprises Ltd, for the Breton Avenue/Cavalry Drive Green, had caused distress to residents.

Many had lived there for more than 30 years and had the original documents when the estate was built.

Cllr French said: "In all of these documents it quite clearly shows that the parcel of land was to be public open space.

"In the original plans and conditions, this parcel of land should have been landscaped and also shows it should even had seating on it.

"I am led to believe that new residents who have moved in have had searches carried out by Fenland District Council and none were made aware that this land could be built on. This needs to be looked at."

She said March already had a shortfall of 4.23 hectares of public open space - a nine per cent deficit of what should ideally be provided according to policy recommendations.

The petition and surrounding issues will discussed by cabinet and council officers.

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