Homes plan for ‘dormant’ land at college site in Huntingdon

PUBLISHED: 07:58 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:09 01 November 2017

Cambridge Regional College - Huntingdon Campus

Cambridge Regional College - Huntingdon Campus

Archant

Up to 60 new homes could be built on surplus land at Cambridge Regional College’s Huntingdon Campus - sparking concerns over the loss of open space and the impact of proposed new homes on traffic.

There are also fears that money from the sale of the land will not be ploughed back into education facilities at the site, formerly Huntingdonshire Regional College, but the college said money would be reinvested.

Plans for a development of between 50 and 60 homes have been submitted just three months after the merger between the Cambridge and Huntingdon colleges took place.

Documents submitted with the college’s planning application to Huntingdonshire District Council say most of the land had been the subject of previous planning applications and had been earmarked for development.

But town councillor Ann Beevor said: “I know houses are needed but we can’t just fill every hole with houses.

“The land would make a nice open space and what would happen if the college wanted to extend?”

Cllr Beevor said that other parcels of land close to the college, including former garage blocks, had been developed, along with a large field next door.

She said she was concerned that money from the development would not be spent locally.

District and county councillor Mike Shellens was concerned about the impact of traffic on the already congested ring road. He said: “I fear for the traffic turning left out of Cowper Road on to the ring road.

“Where are they going to go from there? Some may want to go to Tesco for shopping but anyone else will go out to the ring road. It will stop people coming in to the town. It is full on Saturdays.”

Cllr Shellens said there would be some benefits from developer contributions but felt capital from the sale of land would not be spent locally.

But Derek Sharp, deputy principal responsible for finance and resources at Cambridge Regional College (CRC) said: “In times of restricted capital funding availability, selling land with planning permission will provide funding to enable the college to further invest in facilities and provide a better learning environment for our students in Huntingdon.

“It will allow us to upgrade IT systems and infrastructure as well as other equipment which will be beneficial for our students and help improve their learning experience.”

Mr Sharp said: “The land has been lying dormant for a number of years and HRC had always earmarked the site for sale. Huntingdonshire Regional College merged with Cambridge Regional College in August and now we have taken that a step further and applied for planning permission.

“We are looking forward to being able to invest in the future of students at our Huntingdon campus with better facilities and infrastructure.”

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