Eco homes look set to be built in Hartford

A DEVELOPMENT of 29 carbon-neutral affordable homes in Hartford looks set to go ahead, unless the Government objects – which is unlikely, since it will be built with £1.3million of Government money. Huntingdonshire District Council will provide the land i

A DEVELOPMENT of 29 carbon-neutral affordable homes in Hartford looks set to go ahead, unless the Government objects - which is unlikely, since it will be built with £1.3million of Government money.

Huntingdonshire District Council will provide the land in Mayfield Road for social landlord Circle Anglia to build 20 eco-friendly houses and nine flats in a £5million development. Almost one-third of the site, south of Mayfield Road, near its junction with Desborough Road, will be retained as open space.

Huntingdonshire District Council last week supported the development in spite of opposition from some members of the controlling Conservative group and the Liberal Democrat opposition, who supported the principle but believed it was in the wrong place.

Planners said local opponents of the scheme were wrong to worry about its increasing traffic congestion during the morning school run. The site is so close to two local primary schools that children could walk or cycle in a few minutes, they said.


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The scheme needs Government agreement because the land was designated as open space in HDC's now-superseded Local Plan, drawn up in 1995. Ironically, it had been designated for housing as long ago as the 1960s, when Oxmoor was built, planning chief Steve Ingram explained.

When built, the homes will be at the cutting-edge of carbon-neutral technology, generating their own power and contributing surplus energy to the National Grid. Not only will all of them be let at "affordable" rents, but they will cost little to run, and their "green" roofs will offer a haven to wildlife.

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The development is in an area of great housing need, HDC's housing chief, Steve Plant, told the council. Of the 1,700 households with priority needs in the district, 762 wanted to live in Huntingdon and nearly 500 of them in Oxmoor. This development would provide for just 29 families, but it would contribute towards an overwhelming need, he said.

Environment team leader Chris Jablonski added: "Mayfield Road will provide a blueprint for affordable living, making it a very desirable place to live."

But not for the two neighbouring residents who protested. A Mrs Hilton objected on the grounds of increased traffic congestion and the loss of open space, and Len Brewer, who said he had lived in the area for 43 years, complained that residents' objections were being ignored.

Even those councillors who were opposed to the scheme welcomed the opportunity to showcase the technology in Huntingdonshire. But they would rather it had been in some other part of Huntingdonshire.

INFORMATION: Unless the Government calls the application in for determination by the Secretary of State, the bulldozers could be on site as early as March 2009.

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