Councillors grilled about future of March town centre at lively March Society meeting

12:48 08 April 2014

Three councillors attended the March Society meeting.

Three councillors attended the March Society meeting.

Archant

Three town councillors were grilled about the future of March town centre at a lively meeting of the March Society.

March Town Councillors Jan French, Kit Owen and Rob Skoulding spoke about the demolition of the indoor market, Gaul Road housing development and the installation of traffic lights at the Gaul Road/A141 junction and double yellow lines next to the train station.

Last November, the council sent 11,000 questionnaires to addresses in March asking for views and ideas about the town’s future.

Of these, 600 were returned and future consultations are planned before March Town Council submits a draft Town Plan.

The Government wants to see 4,200 new homes built in March together with new roads, schools, doctors’ surgeries and leisure facilities to support this expansion.

Where the new homes will be built provoked lively debate, with strong resistance to Cambridgeshire County Council’s proposal to cover the Estover Park playing fields with 450 houses.

The three councillors re-assured the audience this would not now happen though there may have to be a reduced number of houses on this site

Those attending expressed alarm at the potential of future traffic gridlock in and around the town because of new homes.

What to do with the area west of the A141 March by-pass was also discussed, with high tech enterprises, a Science Park, small industrial units, an indoor Skate Park and a country park proposed.

Attendees also said that more attention could be given to how to improve the River Nene and the riverside in March.

Fenland District Councillor Simon King, portfolio holder responsible for Renaissance and Conservation, will be the speaker at the society’s next meeting on Wednesday, May 7 at 7pm in March Library.

He will talk about the progress being made with heritage buildings in March and Fenland. Tickets are members £1.50, non-members £2.50.

For more information about the society go to www.themarchsociety.org.uk

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