The county council has been blamed for a two year delay on a Walsoken housing development.
Fenland Park, the former home of Wisbech Football Club, has been left to decay since the club moved to their new Lynn Road stadium. Planning permission for 83 houses was granted to developer Purple Properties but as yet, there has been no movement on the site.
Agent Peter Humphrey, who is working on behalf of Purple Properties, said they are “being held to ransom”.
He explained that a viability assessment concluded that the development would not be financially viable with the Section 106 money that Cambridgeshire County Council required and they want it relooked at. However, he has not had a response from the council.
A council spokesman said: “The council reviewed the viability appraisals sent to us by Fenland District Council and sent back our response to them as the planning authority. The authority’s position is the £80,000 being sought is necessary to mitigate the pressures put on the local education provision. Without this contribution the new development would not comply with policy. The appraisals prepared by the district council’s consultant demonstrate that even if all Section 106 requirements that the developers had previously agreed to were removed the site would not be viable. We are happy to meet the developers and discuss how the Section 106 could be re-structured to assist with viability whilst delivering a policy compliant development, as recommended by the consultant.”
The state of the Fenland Park site has residents unhappy. John Taylor sent some photographs to the Citizen of the rubbish on the site and also a large hole in the back of the stand that can be seen from his back garden.
He said: “Apparently the old football ground has nothing to do with neither Fenland District Council not Wisbech Town Council – it’s only the ratepayers who have to look at the eyesore.
“It’s a pity that people start to use the waste ground as the local tip, but that’s what happens when an area is left to decay.”
Purple Properties was granted permission to build 83 houses on the site – made up of 19 four-bed houses, 35 three-bed houses, 18 two-bed houses, six two-bed apartments and five one-bed apartments – in 2007. The application was renewed in 2011.