Fenland District Council set to dispose of Waterlees playground site despite objections

PROTESTERS look set to lose their battle to stop a �880,000 adventure playground in Wisbech, as Fenland District Council prepares to dispose of the land. Cambridgeshire County Council needs a legal interest in The Spinney in Waterlees Road, so it can open

PROTESTERS look set to lose their battle to stop a �880,000 adventure playground in Wisbech, as Fenland District Council prepares to dispose of the land.

Cambridgeshire County Council needs a legal interest in The Spinney in Waterlees Road, so it can open the playground by March 31 and rubber-stamp the funding.

Residents were consulted about the disposal after county council granted planning permission in November.

Some residents, who live nearby, claimed that building on the four-acre open space would contravene their rights as residents and threaten a historical monument known as the Seabank.


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They also said The Spinney was given in Trust to Wisbech as a free space, should be kept free of buildings and remain unobstructed having been the same for more than 20 years.

Fenland Council's Cabinet will be told next Thursday, however, that it holds the land on Trust for recreational purposes and that Seabank will not be affected by the change of ownership.

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A report to councillors added: "The land was not given free - it was acquired in part in January 1974 for �50,000 and in part for �20,000."

Councillors will also hear that up to 20 per cent of the open space can be built upon - and that such a limit "implies that there is an acceptance of building on the site".

In response to protesters' claims Councillor David Wheeler, a supporter of the project, said: "Any open space should be utilised for the benefit of all and not one particular section of the community."

The county council needs an interest in the land to justify paying for consultants and construction. A lease of freehold transfer of �1 will be agreed.

The playground needs to be open, not necessarily completed, by March 31. If it is not open, the county council will not be able to set aside the funding.

• When planning permission was granted, the county council received 10 objection letters and a 145-signature petition.

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