Delay housing plan until roads improve’

CONSERVATIVE county councillors have called for planning consent for the massive Northbridge housing development in north-west Huntingdon to be delayed until new roads are in place. But, if Huntingdonshire District Council was to fail to make a decision o

CONSERVATIVE county councillors have called for planning consent for the massive Northbridge housing development in north-west Huntingdon to be delayed until new roads are in place.

But, if Huntingdonshire District Council was to fail to make a decision on the 1,200-home development in a reasonable time, the application would succeed by default, and the town could miss out on planning gain contributions worth millions.

Sir Peter Brown and Elaine Kadic, who represent Huntingdon at Shire Hall, have written to HDC planners, who are now considering the application from Persimmon Homes.

"We do not wish to prejudice any decision," they said. "We do, however, wish to express our very real concern about considering any planning application until such time as adequate infrastructure is in place to cope with the growth that will accompany a successful application.

"Both Cambridgeshire and, in particular, Huntingdonshire are experiencing severe problems with additional housing required by the Government.

"We do not believe that Huntingdon and the surrounding villages can cope with a further development of possibly 1,200 homes until such time as the proper infrastructure is in place - in particular the proposed upgrading of the A14.

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"One only has to see the accidents and traffic congestion that occur daily on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge to understand that increasing development without the proper road infrastructure will result in further chaos, not just on our arterial roads but also within Huntingdon town centre."

But HDC confirmed that, if it failed to determine the application, it would succeed by default.

Planning policy manager Richard Probyn added that, although the development - west of the A141 at Spittals - was on the local plan, the Highways Agency had objected to any development that would add traffic to the A14. It was up to Persimmon to satisfy planners that any additional traffic could be accommodated on other roads.

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