Monthly Archives: February 2016

Work to start soon on Woburn Drive housing development

Larkfleet

Work is expected to start on the new housing development off Woburn Drive in March or April this year.

A spokesman for developer Larkfleet Homes said the company did not get the approval of final planning details as quickly as they expected and the purchase of the site was delayed.

However, the sale went through last week. The company says it will now focus on the discharge of the remaining planning conditions and expects to commence work in March or April.

Thorney Parish Council has asked about access following concern over increased traffic using Woburn Drive and Larkfleet has confirmed it will be using this route.

Childcare clubs will be run by school

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The Duke of Bedford School is to take direct control of running the before and after-school club.

The decision to run the club directly was made after the current external provider decided to quit.

Headteacher Mrs Cathy Bailey has assured parents that all children who attend the club at present will continue to have a place and there will be no interruption of service.

The club, which provides a vital service for working parents, will move out of the Children’s Centre and into the main school building in March.

Mrs Bailey said that, in future, it is hoped to be able to expand the group to provide more places and also offer breakfasts to children attending the before-school club.

Thieves pile misery on blaze couple

Heartless thieves have stolen a caravan belonging to Mel and Sue Dolby, whose house and business was destroyed by fire on Monday evening.

Firemen were able to move the caravan out of danger as the fierce fire ravaged their home on The Causeway and destroyed 11 classic vehicles used for their wedding car business.

Daughter Tracey Clark said: “All they had left was the caravan. My dad suffered a heart attack and is still in hospital.

“We were visiting him tonight (Thursday) and when we returned to the burnt-out property to check on their ponies, we relaised it had been stolen.

“They had tried to get the ponies as well as they were out on the A47.”

Tracey is asking people to look out for the caravan. It is a white Bessacar Cameo 2007, with twin-axle. It is a three-berth model with end bathroom.
Any sightings should be reported to police.

Blaze presented a major challenge to firefighters

Dolby fire 5

Firefighters have spoken about major challenges tackling the house and garage fire on the Causeway on Monday evening.

The fire completely destroyed Wayside, a house and garage owned by Mel and Susan Dolby, where the family lived and operated a wedding car hire business using classic cars.

The home and around 10 cars have been completely destroyed. Mr Dolby has been treated in hospital for smoke inhalation and is having further health checks. The family’s four dogs were rescued.

The emergency call came in at 6.05pm and the first crews in attendance immediately requested further fire engines to attend.

The fire had started in the garage and rapidly spread throughout the large garage and to the house owing to the strong winds and a fuel tank igniting.

The garage contained a number of cars, including vintage Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, which were all burnt out.

Group commander Sean Brown, incident commander, said: “This was a particularly difficult fire to tackle and was exacerbated by strong winds, cylinders in the garage and the need for a large water supply. We used a relay of fire engines to bring water to the scene from a nearby hydrant and the fire was under control by 10pm. Sadly the fire has completely destroyed the garage, its contents and the adjoining house.”

The incident was scaled down shortly after 11pm.

Two fire engines remained at the scene overnight with firefighters monitoring the remaining hot spots which crews were unable to access due to the unstable buildings.

The cause of the fire was accidental.

An eyewitness was critical of firefighters, claiming that they didn’t seem to respond vigorously at an early stage and they could not find the fire hydrant, which meant they ran out of water.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “Firefighting is not a straight forward task. There are many factors to consider when planning tactics for dealing with it and each fire will be different depending on location, weather, water supplies, what is burning, whether people are trapped, and the risk to firefighters, etc.

“The first crews attending immediately requested further fire engines and straight away attempted to tackle the fire using a powerful water supply. They also tried to protect the house.

“There was an unexpected significant fuel leak in the garage, which ignited and created an intense, rapidly developing fire situation within four minutes of the crew attending. The fuel leak and strong winds caused the fire to rapidly spread and within a few minutes of crews arriving the house had caught fire too.

“Another complication was the fact cylinders were in the garage and these can explode in a fire situation, posing a significant risk to firefighters and members of the public. For safety crews had to retreat.

“Initial water supplies ran out before back up fire engines arrived and the crew had to source another water supply. The hydrant was hidden in the overgrown verge. Once located, the hydrant was used as a water source and when additional fire engines arrived, a water shuttle was put in place from another hydrant further away.

“The initial call came in at 6.06pm and the first crews arrived at 6.17 and 6.18pm. Followed by further crews at 6.30pm, 6.31pm, 6.44pm, 6.47pm, 6.51pm and 6.52pm.”

Around 60 firefighters tackled the fire and the A47 remained closed for about 10 hours.

Thorney’s fire engine was not involved in the operation. A CFRS spokesman said: “It was not available at the time when resources were requested. This is because there were not enough Thorney firefighters available to crew the fire engine.”

It remains unclear why the hydrant could not be located. An overgrown verge was blamed by the fire service and this section of road was resurfaced more than a year ago and verges re-instated. Hydrant inspection and testing is the responsibility of the fire service. Any defective or unavailable hydrants are reported to Anglian Water and it is their responsibility to repair them.

Details of Sandpit Road homes announced

Developers have released the design and access statement relating to the new housing development planned for Sandpit Road.

The statement sets out how many homes will be built, the general plan of the estate and also access and landscaping plans.

They have not yet applied for planning permission and at that stage, more detailed plans will be submitted.

You can read the full document here.

A47 closed overnight next week

The A47 is to be closed for two nights next week for roadworks to take place. This is the notice from Highways England:

We are working on behalf of Highways England to improve safety the A47 near you. This work will improve signage and road marking on this stretch of road between Thorney and Guyhirn that has a history of accidents.

Subject to weather conditions, we plan to start this on Wednesday 3 February and be finished by Friday 12 February. We will be working between 21:00 and 06:00 on weeknights to minimise disruption. While we will be doing some working during the day, this will not affect the road. Our work may result in delays for local road users and through traffic, for which we apologise.

To keep road users at a safe distance from the works, we have traffic lights in place while we are working. For two nights we will need to close the road to replace the studs in the centre of the road – this will be done on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 February.

When the A47 is closed, eastbound traffic will exit before Thorney to head south at Whitepost roundabout, taking the A1139 to Fletton Interchange, then east on the A605 towards Whittlesey, continuing through Coates and heading north to Guyhirn, then north on the A141 and re-joining the A47 at the A141 Guyhirn roundabout. The diversion will be the reverse for the westbound closure.

We will do our utmost to complete the works as quickly as possible, avoiding disturbance and keeping noise to a minimum.

We want to make your journey as easy as possible during this time. Our e-mail alert service gives details of closures and diversions near you. You can sign up at www.highways.gov.uk/east_subscribe.

If you have any enquiries please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000, or by email to: info@highwaysengland.co.uk.