Development rules relaxed in the Fens - but the “bunny huggers” won’t like it, warns council leader

PUBLISHED: 16:06 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 16:42 23 June 2011

Leader of Fenland District Council, Alan Melton, during his speech at the FDC Building Design Awards held at the Boathouse in Wisbech

Leader of Fenland District Council, Alan Melton, during his speech at the FDC Building Design Awards held at the Boathouse in Wisbech

Archant

Regulations governing new developments including the need for archaeological surveys are to be swept aside from July 1, a council leader announced last night.

"I don’t believe that Polar Bears will be floating down the Nene in my life time or indeed my children’s."

Alan Melton, leader of Fenland council

Conservation rules will be relaxed and development area boundaries will be a thing of the past, said Alan Melton, leader of Fenland council.

“Common sense will prevail,” he said at the 4th annual Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard/Fenland Council Building and Design Awards final, at Wisbech Boathouse.

“The bunny huggers won’t like this but if they wish to inspect a site, they can do it when the footings are being dug out.

“This will stop the stupid requirement of having to strip a whole site; after trenches have already criss- crossed the site. In some cases requiring the development to be constructed on piles or some other stabiliser, at a far greater un-recoverable cost.”

Developers in the Fens have complained bitterly for years over the soaring costs of archaeological surveys. Mr Melton said these would no longer form part of any committee agenda.

Tens of thousands of pounds spent on excavations at the Neale Wade Community College, March, sprang to mind, he said, and this was “money wasted, money that could have been spent on more classrooms or teachers”.

Any surveys “that are currently in the pipeline and that are not currently subject to litigation but are giving grief can be discarded - tomorrow morning.”

Relaxation of rules around sustainability and listed buildings still meant retaining a sustainable and practical approach.

“But we won’t dwell too much on the scriptures of the new religion,” said Mr Melton.

“I don’t believe the Polar Bears will be floating down the Nene in my life time or indeed my children’s.”

Mr Melton described communities who resist growth as Nimbys and said the council’s message was: “No growth equals no investment”.

He also told developers to expect more rigorous collection of section 106 development money but insisted the council would not pick up the bill for unfinished work on new developments and would be imposing tough bonding arrangements.

Mr Melton said the council was determined to see the Fenland’s market towns grow and prosper.

“We will aim to provide between 11,000 and 16,000 homes, with job, retail and commercial opportunities,” he said.

“We will encourage all new development to be of high quality with high environmental standards, whilst at the same time ensuring that our local community thrives in terms of wealth, jobs, skills and education.”

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12 comments

  • Has any one checked all local mental hospitals to see if any one is missing?

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • No need to build new homes at all. In Broadland alone there are hundreds of houses that noone is allowed to live in except wealthy second home owners. Vote for change and stop this crazy policy now.

    Report this comment

    Homes4locals

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • R.I.P greenfield sites!

    Report this comment

    anglia_squared

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Yet another puppet in a suit paid off by wealthy developers making no sense at all. Nothing new there then!

    Report this comment

    paddy5791

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • One hopes that Cambridgeshire County Council can over rule this philistine

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Is it just me or have archaeoligicalconservation digs very little do with bunny affection or with swimming polar bears (whichever river they call home). Common sense will hopefully prevail -- as well as, one hopes, an elementary level of education from our Councillors.

    Report this comment

    Lise

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Yet again another councillor that seems to have escaped an education. Does Norfolk breed them?!!

    Report this comment

    sallzy

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Sallzy, Norfolk doesn't breed them; Fenland District Council is in Cambridgeshire. Thank the lord that they have to worry about the inane ramblings of this buffoon and not us!

    Report this comment

    Simon Alcock

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • OMG, Common sense prevails!

    Report this comment

    Digby

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Ditto what planet does he comes from

    Report this comment

    Eastern canary

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • That's priceless that is, admirable in many ways. I mean, go on Alan, get off the fence, tell us what you really think. Pleased to see a politician properly speak their mind. So i'm guessing he won't mind if others do the same. So here's what I think. Alan, it's a real challenge, balancing the economy and the environment. I think what you're saying is something along the lines of 'growth, in the way I define it, is good. You should all accept it without question. Anyone who dares to oppose it is an enemy of progress and prosperity'. So well done, in one speech you have thrown the whole debate back into the dark ages. I mean, why not round up all the environmentalists given they're such a threat to your vision? ...and what is your vision? I mean, given you're in a position of such influence and leverage over the future direction of the Fens, I am guessing you have got one that doesn't just involve more building, expanding and consuming for ever? I mean, given that we live in a finite space with finite resources, and especially as the Fens supports Britain's most productive farmland, that would be madness wouldn't it? So one assumes your vision takes this into account? So then when do you think there will have been 'enough' growth? Reasonable question to ask.

    Report this comment

    beeston bump

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • The Fens are likely to be under 30 feet of seawater by about 2050 so its not realy worth bothering what development is going to take place.

    Report this comment

    DaSilva

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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