Development is out of keeping with area

An artist's impression of the three storey flats
An artist's impression of the three storey flats
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Residents opposed to a planned housing development in March claim some of the designs look more like a prison building than a home.

A spokesman for the Kingswood Residents Group, which is fighting plans by the Sanctuary Group, to build 24 houses and apartments on the former Kingswood park residential care home site, said they are not at all happy with the planning application.

He said the proposal was totally out of keeping with the area and would create extra traffic through Kingswood Road, which is currently a cul-de-sac.

Residents fear the development of the former care home site will also cause problems with drainage and the area’s sewerage system.

The spokesman, who did not want to be named at this stage, hopes as many people as possible will attend an exhibition of the plans at Jubilee Court on Tuesday (October 22) from 4pm to 7pm.

He said people are particularly concerned about the two and three storey blocks of flats which are part of the “mixed” provision of homes, which also include bungalows.

“The flats, which quite frankly look more like a prison block, than desirable homes, are completely out of character with the local surrounds.

“Sanctuary say ‘the new houses feature mullions to the upper half of all windows facing the public domain, with timber posts and reconstructed stone sills to give a rural impression to the properties’ but if it had bars on the windows it would resemble aspects of HM Prison Whitemoor,” he said.

And he continued: “We are all for affordable housing being available for the people of March but think the proposal should form part of the master plan proposed in the town’s core development strategy to ensure an appropriate and sustainable infrastructure is built in place rather than yet again adding another “sticky plaster” development. Alternatively replace with a much needed Care Home like Kingswood Park used to be until Sanctuary closed the home against a massive appeal to keep it open.”

He said people opposed to the development should write to Fenland’s planning department to express their concerns and said the cut off date is October 28 - however the residents’ group has asked for this to be extended by three weeks to ensure everyone has time to consider their response.