Thursday, January 23, 2014
A planning appeal against a decision to refuse permission to turn the former Megatron and McDonald’s land at Alconbury into a travellers’ site has been adjourned.
The appeal was due to be heard by a planning inspector last week, but was delayed to determine whether technical issues concerning noise and air quality could be addressed.
Once the site of the former flying saucer-shaped building, Huntingdonshire District Council turned down the application for a travellers’ site on the grounds of the noise impact on the families who would live there – the land is close to the A1(M)/A14 on one side and the B1090 Ermine Street on the other.
The applicant, Paul Lang, submitted revised plans for six travellers’ pitches, placing the residential area at the centre of the site, which has been empty since the fast food building was demolished in 2008, together with the erection of a 1.5m-high acoustic screen.
But objectors to the proposals include Alconbury Weald developers Urban & Civic and the Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.
Potential noise from Alconbury Weald traffic, Urban and Civic (U&C) argued, has not been taken into account during noise assessments and, until it is, the effectiveness of the proposed noise barriers will not be known. It also points out that putting a barrier around the site may isolate the travellers.
In regards to the Enterprise Zone (EZ), U&C said: “We remain convinced that if permitted this proposal would fundamentally impact on the EZ as the two land uses are not compatible. The proposals would undermine the aspirations of the EZ to deliver significant new investment to the benefit of Huntingdonshire and the wider area.”
Steve Thorogood, managing director of Admiral Homespace, which is next to the proposed travellers’ site, said general safety on the site was of great concern.
“It’s not a safe site for families to live,” he said. “The traffic is increasing in the area all the time because of the Alconbury Weald development over the road.”
Mr Thorogood is also concerned the change of use could impact on his business.
A new date for the planning appeal has not been set.