Complaint against stadium site plans
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."
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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.
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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.