RINGS END: Residents and councillors object to arches demolition plan

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Residents and councillors are fighting to save the Rings End railway arches after a planning application was submitted to demolish them.

A meeting held in the village last night (Wednesday) saw almost 40 people, including parish and district councillors, say unanimously they do not want to see the arches knocked down.

Resident Mike Bowles, who arranged the meeting, said they had not found out about the application until a week ago, so there wasn’t time to get the word out to a wider group of people. But he was pleased with the turnout and is going to be ringing the Fenland District Council planning officials today to lodge their objection.

The application to demolish the 12 arches has been made by Silvio Perna, of Chatteris, through agent Ken Elener, of March.

The application states the arches are “not a building, not listed, not noted of local interest, not mentioned in documents” and are in a state of “disrepair”.

It says there has been no maintenance on the arches since 1982 and one reason for decommission was the cost of maintaining.

The plan is to demolish the arches by hand, salvaging the bricks. But Mr Bowles said this is not a “viable proposition”.

“To get it down you will need heavy machinery. There will be vibrations, dust. The pub and cottage are listed buildings. The demolition will vibrate all the houses. Not to mention all the lorries that will be taking the materials away. There would be tonnes of it.”

The cut-off date for objections is on Wednesday. The application is expected to be heard by Fenland’s planning committee next week.