More than 250 people pack Whittlesey social club to have their say on controversial Showfield homes plan

The proposed layout of the 249 home site. The proposed layout of the 249 home site.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
1:21 PM

There was standing room only as more than 250 people attended a public meeting to have their say on a controversial plan to build 249 homes on a former showground last night.

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The event, which was held at the Ivy Leaf Social Club in Whittlesey, was prompted after developers Showfield Ltd appealed Fenland District Council’s decision to reject their plan for the showground north of Whittlesey.

The site would be accessed by the B1040, which closes each winter due to flooding on the nearby Whittlesey Washes.

The meeting, which was organised by Showfield Action Group, included a presentation from campaigner Patrick Nightingale, who outlined his opposition to the proposal.

Addressing the audience, Mr Nightingale said: “The main reasons for rejection are the impact on flooding in the Whittlesey Wash area and problems with drainage of surface water from the site.

“There are also traffic management and safety issues, as well as environmental issues, particularly with regard to the visual aspect from the north.

“There are more than enough sites well away from the north of the town to satisfy Whittlesey’s future commitment for new housing and there is therefore no need to build using land that is in the high flood risk Zone 3 as designated by the Environment Agency.”

It was the second time a public meeting has been held about the proposed development - more than 300 people packed the same venue to have their say at a meeting organised by Whittlesey Town Council in October.

Treasurer Ian Fleming made an appeal for £10,000 to help the group fight the proposal, which met with a positive response from the hall.

He said: “The best option is to appoint our own legal team and engage flood and traffic experts to put our case in conjunction with those appointed by Fenland District Council, which will give us the opportunity to cross examine the applicant and expose weaknesses in the application.”

If you would like to contribute to the campaign or require more information, go to http://www.whittleseyshowfield.com.

You can send a cheque payable to ‘A Jones and T Corney re Showfield Action Group’ at 31 East Delph, Whittlesey, PE7 1RH

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