FENLAND: Man fights to keep turbine, despite enforcement threat.

MAN FIGHTS TO KEEP TURBINE DESPITE ENFORCEMENT THREAT WISBECH: A man facing council action for having a wind turbine in his garden has vowed to do whatever he can to keep it generating power for his home. Fenland District Council s planning committ


WISBECH: A man facing council action for having a wind turbine in his garden has vowed to do whatever he can to keep it generating power for his home.

Fenland District Council's planning committee is set to consider an application to get the turbine removed from Colvile Road, Wisbech, next week.

But, despite the occupant's admission that he didn't know planning permission was needed, he says he will get planning permission "one way or another".

Councillors will be told that planning officers have spoken to the occupier since February to get the turbine removed.

Planning enforcement officer Alan Millard's report says: "The occupant was informed that the erection of the wind turbine required the consent of the planning authority and that such an application was unlikely to be supported at officer level."

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A visit last month found the generator housing and propellers removed from the top of the pole, but "the ability to continue the use as a wind turbine had not been removed".

Mr Millard said: "It would appear the occupier has no intention of complying with the council's request to remove it."

When visited by the Standard on Wednesday the occupant refused to leave his name but, in a statement, said: "We will get permission, regardless of size or height. We have submitted a pre-application, with a view to submitting a full application soon.

"We can put smaller blades on the turbine, or make it slightly lower, if the council wants us to, but we are very reluctant to take it down."

The turbine generates about 2.2kw of power and is used to power the lights inside the home. It was first installed three years ago, with larger blades added about six months ago.


MARCH: A well-known March businessman is throwing his weight behind a fight to save the town's boxing club from closure.

We reported in April that there were fears that March Amateur Boxing Club, which was formed 50 years ago, was on the brink of collapse.

The club's boxers have trained at the back of the Station Hotel for the last nine years, but plans have been made to redevelop the premises.

Coaches had looked at dozens of alternative venues but decided that they were unable to afford the rents people were charging, while some people were deterred by what they saw as a negative image of boxing.

March ABC held their annual meeting on Tuesday night.

Coach Frank Allen said: "It was a positive meeting. We are now looking at two alternative premises and Anne Hazel, from the Station Hotel has told us that she will not throw us and wait until we find somewhere.

"This fills me with confidence that the club can be saved."

The premises are both small industrial units off Hundred Road, March.

One is being looked at as a temporary home while the other, which is owned by Kevin McCourt, owner of Cassanos bar and restaurant, and former owner of McCourt's Meats.

Mr McCourt said: "I've supported March Boxing Club for a number of years by helping them raise funds and find sponsorship and I've given them £1,000.

"I think the club is a massive asset to the town. They have 40 odd kids in training and seven professional coaches.

"They get kids off the streets doing something worthwhile and it would be a tragedy to see that club close."

He added: "Talks are in very early stages and I can't commit to anything yet."


WISBECH: Christopher Taylor carried a knife to defend himself against foreigners in Wisbech, he told police when found with a weapon in the town.

He was arrested for trying to damage a car - and the weapon was found on the ground alongside him.

Taylor was before Fenland magistrates on Tuesday - it was the second time he had been before a court for possessing a knife within six months, and he could now be jailed by Cambridge Crown Court.

At Wisbech courthouse this week, 42-year-old Taylor, of York Road, Wisbech, admitted possessing a folding pocket knife with a blade longer than three inches, and attempting to damage a car window on May 17.

A couple were in the park with their children when they saw Taylor use his elbow to try and smash the window of a Vauxhall Astra, said prosecutor Andrew Williams.

They thought Taylor was putting a screwdriver into the lock, and called the police.

Taylor told officers that the occupants of the car had earlier made a rude gesture towards him, and he wanted to retaliate.

Back in December of last year, Taylor was given a 28-week suspended jail sentence for theft, and a conditional discharge for possessing a bladed article by Cambridge Crown Court.

The new offence puts breach of that conditional discharge, and his suspended sentence could be activated.

Fenland magistrates decided Taylor should be sentenced for all matters in the Crown Court, and gave him unconditional bail until that hearing.


MURROW: A family of travellers look set to lose their home after building a bungalow near Wisbech without planning permission.

The land is on part of an established traveller site in Murrow Lane, just outside Murrow, and has permission for the use of residential caravans.

Fenland District Council officers believe there is an identified need for these sites in the area and planning approval in this case would result in the loss of one.

Mr and Mrs Upton built the three-bed bungalow in an agricultural area outside of any Development Area Boundary.

In a report, the council's travellers and diversity manager states: "There is an identified need for more permanent traveller sites in the district.

"We need to regularise what we already have, not to look to develop identified travellers' sites into housing stock.

"If the applicants wish for a bungalow, they should seek to develop an alternative site.

"The bungalow dominates the landscape and I can see know logical reason why the council would support such a development for gypsy travellers."

During a site visit on September 11 last year, a Fenland District Council officer noted the bungalow had been built.

The council was told a month later that the development had ceased pending the receipt of planning permission.

An application for retrospective planning permission was sent in and, despite the backing of the local parish council, was refused on May 9.

The case will be heard before planning committee on Wednesday.

Planning enforcement officer Alan Millard has recommended that the council order the demolition of the bungalow and institute legal proceedings in any further case of non-compliance.

Mr and Mrs Upton moved to Fenland after travelling around the Cambridgeshire area and have owned this land since 1989.

They four children - a 14-year-old and a seven-year-old girl and a two-year-old and four-year-old boy.


MARCH: A public inquiry will be held later this month into the development of land in March.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Fenland estate agent Freddie Grounds wants to build 13 homes in Gaul Road which fronts Oxbow Crescent.

The public inquiry will be held at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel in March on Tuesday June 17 from 10am.