Complaint against stadium site plans

PUBLISHED: 13:01 11 August 2006 | UPDATED: 19:47 01 June 2010

ENTREPRENEUR Craig Robinson says he is to make an official complaint to Fenland Council after permission was granted for shops, restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema on the Wisbech Stadium site. Mr Robinson, who sub-let the stadium and ran Sunday markets

ENTREPRENEUR Craig Robinson says he is to make an official complaint to Fenland Council after permission was granted for shops, restaurants, and a multi-screen cinema on the Wisbech Stadium site.

Mr Robinson, who sub-let the stadium and ran Sunday markets, a fireworks night and hosted a circus visit, had in his sights dog racing and stock car nights.

"I took over mid-way through last year and it was intended to be for a five-year period," he said.

"Although the lease was never properly signed, I paid my rent and expected to be able to go ahead. But in November I heard that the stadium had a potential buyer and in December I was told to move out."

Mr Robinson says he will not let the matter rest "since I'm confident I have the support of many people in Wisbech who want to see the stadium remain as it was intended - for dog racing and stock cars".

He has released copies of e-mails between his company, Trojan International, and Fenland's head of planning, Nigel Brown, which purport to show the council initially supported him.

In December, for instance, Mr Brown told Mr Robinson: "At this stage I will be advising any potential developer of this site that there is still a potential for racing here. And I cannot support its redevelopment."

He told Mr Robinson: "You will be pleased to know that you remain a fly in the ointment here, and the matters you raise are critical in any future applications here."

In another e-mail, Mr Brown said: "As such, on the basis of the info you give me, I am initially of the opinion that racing is protected on the site."

Councillor Geoff Harper, council leader, said the owners had presented a "sound case" that the stadium was no longer commercially viable.

A planning application followed, with a public exhibition in Wisbech showing off "their ambitious plan".

Cllr Harper added: "At no time between December and July did Mr Robinson express any written submission or objection to the planning application so it is difficult to understand what he is complaining about.

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