Fowlmere homes plans anger residents

FOWLMERE Parish Council has said they have received a planning application to build ten new homes in the village under a special policy, leaving a resident unhappy.

The homes will be built by Circle Anglia under the exception policy, allowing for them to go up on designated Greenfield land because first refusal on them will be given to people that live and work in the area.

This has angered Neil Roskilly, whose home will be close to the new development. He says the land’s wildlife will be ruined and the circumstances are not exceptional enough for the homes to be given special permission.

Mr Roskilly said: “I do not think the homes are needed for a number of reasons. They are basing the requirement for them on a needs survey carried out in 2007, making it rather out of date.

“I don’t see this as a viable reason for the exceptions policy. It’s not as if we have ten families waiting to move in there.

“There is also a natural habitat living where they will be built, and 700 metres of hedgerows will be destroyed. These have wildlife such as bats living in them.”

Mr Roskilly, who has live in Fowlmere for three years, also claimed that the planned parking provision for the housing is not enough, and that the homes will not fit in with the rest of the area.

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“There are ten houses in this scheme and 18 parking spaces. Given that most houses now have two or three cars and sometimes vans and lorries, we fear that this will spill out into other streets,” he said.

“Also, the type of housing is low cost rental housing, which is not in line with the rest of the homes in that area. There are other people in my street that I know are unhappy about this.”

Chairman of Fowlmere Parish Council Deborah Roberts defended the plans, saying they will benefit the village’s people.

“The parish council has been working for many years hoping that they would be able to find a suitable site in the village which is absolutely only for the residents of the village,” she said.

“It will help provide low cost housing for village residents under a very specific policy which states that these houses must first and foremost be offered to people that live or work here, or have done in the past, and have had to move out because they cannot find housing they can afford in the village.

“This is the thoroughly local criteria that must be met to get one of these houses. Only when we they find ten takers are they allowed to find others.”

Cllr Roberts claims the feedback she has received so far has been “extremely positive,” and they will be keeping residents up to speed with what is going on.

“We are being 100 per cent honest with the village, and will be putting out leaflets to every house to let them know about the application.

“There will be a meeting on February 1, where we will listen to those for it and against it, then decide on where to go on merit.”