Building more homes at Little Paxton is “simply wrong” says councillor

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 February 2017

Archant

Opposition is growing over plans to build almost 200 homes on the outskirts of Little Paxton near St Neots with one councillor describing the proposals as “simply wrong”.

The Riverside development is earmarked for land between the Great North Road, St Neots Golf Club and the development at Samuel Jones Crescent, and already has planning permission for residential and business use. This new plan includes homes, 75,000 sq ft of office space and associated highway access, landscaping and open space.

Priory Park councillor and deputy mayor, Barry Chapman, says he has concerns about the amount of homes being planning for St Neots.

“We need homes for young people to enable them to remain in our area,” said Cllr Chapman.

“The current planning policy of building nearly all the new houses in our area is simply wrong. Building houses in our area to get money from developers and then spending elsewhere is also wrong. Social and affordable housing and starter homes should be built in all settlements. Concentrating these in our local area is wrong if you’ve always lived in say, Sawtry, why should you have to move away from family and friends to Little Paxton or St Neots?”

Cllr Chapman has also raised concerns about the associated infrastructure which he believes should be provided with a development of this size.

“If Little Paxton is to be enlarged by another 12 per cent then Little Paxton families should not have to get in the queue for affordable housing. Where is the money for the schools, roads, shops, pub, leisure facilities, play areas. Only a year or so ago, Lord Constantine was refused planning for five homes on a large plot on the other side of this land on the grounds these would be too close to the rural setting. How 200-plus homes can be considered on rural land is completely inconsistent,” added Cllr Chapman.

Leading the consultation process, for the site’s owners is Barford + Co which has suggested that, along with the homes, the land could accommodate 75,000 sq ft of office space, play equipment, pedestrian and cycle routes to link to existing networks, and two new access roads from the Great North Road.

Simon Tindle, senior planner at Barford + Co, said: “As many residents in Huntingdonshire will be aware, there is an urgent need for new housing in the county due to an ageing and increasing population, and an increasing number of smaller households.

“The site at Little Paxton and the proposed residential development will go some way to meeting this need and provide people in Huntingdonshire with much-needed new homes through a variety of house types and sizes. As well as new homes, the developers are proposing business space, which will serve to create jobs for the local economy.”

Little Paxton Parish Council has raised a number of issues and has set up a working party to review the planning application and will meeting again on February 9. Councillors say they were notified about the application on January 27 and are urging anyone with concerns to make a comment on the Huntingdonshire District Council website before the February 17 deadline.

Residents can comment on the application at: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk or write a letter to the planning authority (planning reference 17/00108/OUT).

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