Tongue in cheek 20p and 1p donations bemuse and anger group that's fighting East Cambs Council plans for 500 homes at Kennett

PUBLISHED: 14:30 12 July 2019

1p coin posted through the letter box of campaign organiser in Kennett who is trying to raise £5,000 to fight 500 homes planned there by East Cambs Council. The cheeky donations both demused and angered the group. Picture; KENNETT ACTION GROUP

1p coin posted through the letter box of campaign organiser in Kennett who is trying to raise £5,000 to fight 500 homes planned there by East Cambs Council. The cheeky donations both demused and angered the group. Picture; KENNETT ACTION GROUP

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A bid to raise £5,000 for a judicial review into a controversial housing scheme in East Cambridgeshire, received two hand delivered donation envelopes with one containing 20p and the other a penny.

20p coin 'donation' sent to Kennett Action Group that is trying to raise £5,000 for judicial review into controversial plans for 500 homes in the village. Picture; KENNETT ACTION GROUP20p coin 'donation' sent to Kennett Action Group that is trying to raise £5,000 for judicial review into controversial plans for 500 homes in the village. Picture; KENNETT ACTION GROUP

The 'donations' both bemused and angered supporters of the Kennett Action Group that is fighting to halt proposals by East Cambridgeshire District Council to allow 500 homes to be built in their village.

The action group's Facebook page attracted a variety of comments including Lucy McConville who posted: "I wonder why they keep themselves anonymous?

"Obviously they don't have the guts to say it to your face in person so I wouldn't let it bother you and this person is going to great lengths, using their own time to have a laugh at your expense. Bit sad really and pathetic."

The letters - with the accompanying coins - were delivered to the home of Fahmy Fayez Fahmy, a leading support of the action group.

Planners jtp produced these visuals for the Kennett application. They propose four new neighbourhoods each with a different but distinctly rural character and include a new village centre with a local shop, health centre, pub and primary school. A central village green creates a focus for village life. Picture; Jtp PLANNERSPlanners jtp produced these visuals for the Kennett application. They propose four new neighbourhoods each with a different but distinctly rural character and include a new village centre with a local shop, health centre, pub and primary school. A central village green creates a focus for village life. Picture; Jtp PLANNERS

A note inside the first envelope said to "please accept the attached money to go towards your fund raising".

A second envelope, delivered later, mocked the fund raising campaign even more.

"To compensate for the lack of response to your crowdfunding from your 156 supporters in Kennett" said the note that accompanied the 1p coin.

The fund raising efforts are a bid to halt plans that will see 500 homes built at Kennett.

James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for housing, communities and local government, has refused to intervene in the decision by East Cambs Council to approve 500 homes at Kennett, He argues it must be a local decision. Picture; ARCHANTJames Brokenshire, Secretary of State for housing, communities and local government, has refused to intervene in the decision by East Cambs Council to approve 500 homes at Kennett, He argues it must be a local decision. Picture; ARCHANT

"The property company concerned is East Cambs Trading Company which is wholly owned by East Cambridgeshire District Council," says the group on their fund raising page.

"In the Local Plan there is an envelope which is designed to protect our countryside. "The farmland designated for 500 houses is situated outside of that envelope."

The group say they are countering the claim by East Cambs Council that the scheme has wide community support and is community led.

"It is not," they argued. "A total of 156 residents objected in contrast to 75 Community Land Trust members who voted in support.

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"Our Kennett parish council also objected and was ignored"

Protestors point out that the Government inspector in the Local Plan examination deemed the Kennett development to be unsound.

"The council ignored that and continued with their push for the development. They are the developers and decision makers," says the group.

"Such an increase in population will at least quadruple the traffic on roads that already struggle to be adequate, it will ruin the character of Kennett and the surrounding countryside."

The spokesman added: "East Cambs Trading Company admits the Kennett development is crucial for them to repay a £5m loan from the council, a clear conflict off interest.

"Because of planning law, our only way of fighting the council decision is a judicial review. We believe it is important to stand up and fight for justice and protection of countryside. We have enough evidence to mount a successful legal challenge."

Action group supporter Steve Griffiths said: "Kennett is being used to fund ECDC - even I as an outsider can see that; it is a carefully crafted business model.

"Some villages have refused this false CLT - hats off to them and their parish councils for seeing what it really is."

He added: "Sadly, others have fallen for the rhetoric. I wish Kennett well - but if some of its residents cannot see what is really happening, the village will be consumed by an ever-increasing building site driven by 'profit'. We have challenged our CLT to prove what they say - they have so far refused - presumably as they are unable to do so."

David Bushell said of the coins: "Someone is taking the proverbial. What a moron."

Stuart Braybrooke told the action group; "You've done a brilliant job in Kennet resisting these scandalous plans. We are suffering a similar problem in Witchford and would love to learn from your experience.

"I've set up a Facebook group for residents and supporters against development in Sutton Road, Witchford. It's the final straw as far as I'm concerned."

Roger Dicker wrote: "Well done Kennett Action Group. You have unequivocal full support from your neighbouring village Kentford and its West Suffolk district councillor."

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