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Following representations from residents in Mepal, supported by Cllr Anna Bailey and Mepal Parish Council, I am launching a petition against two planning applications which would have a hugely damaging impact on the local community – Planning Application F/02006/13/CM to defer restoration of part of the land at Block Fen Drove, and Planning Application F/YR13/0857/F to alter the land to be used for Motocross for up to 114 days a year. I am asking constituents to back this petition objecting to both these applications.
Residents in Mepal were given an assurance by Cambridgeshire County Council, most recently in their July 2011 Block Fen/ Langwood Fen masterplan, that land used for gravel extraction would be restored to its natural habitat once work had finished. Mepal Parish Council has based long term plans for this area on that assurance. This includes extended wetlands and wildlife proposals, together with a visitor centre, as part of the leisure potential offered in an area noted for its wildlife near to the Ouse Washes. It is an area particularly popular with dog walkers and bird watchers.
Whilst the gravel extraction was taking place, limited access was allowed for just 14 days a year for Motocross activity, but this was always on the basis that it was small in scale and temporary. So it is a cause of considerable concern to me as the local MP and to local residents that planning applications have now been made to Cambridgeshire County Council and Fenland District Council which firstly risk breaking the assurances given to restore the land – also undermining the Mepal Parish Plans – and which secondly massively expand the Motocross activity from 14 to up to 114 days a year – which would have a devastating impact on the local habitat and quality of life of residents.
There is widespread concern in Mepal about these plans. I hope as many constituents as possible will help protect the wildlife and habitat by signing the petition below: