Godmanchester developer out of touch with reality

ANY fears or misgivings Godmanchester residents may already have about the mooted Bearscroft Farm development outside the town’s boundary can only have been magnified by the comments of Fairfield’s Stephen Biart (The Hunts Post, September 21).

He believes adding a few buses – using our traffic-choked roads and crossing the fragile historic town bridge – will alleviate the traffic of thousands of extra car journeys from people living in 800 new homes, not to mention that generated by a new school, a large supermarket and industrial units.

Seemingly without any sense of irony, he claims providing a service to the guided bus in St Ives will overcome the “nil detriment to the A14” demanded by a government inspector.

But how will the buses get to St Ives? That’s right along the too-often gridlocked A14 ... and the busy A1198.

He further seems to consider Alconbury airfield – nestling on the outskirts of Huntingdon – close to the A1, the A14, a main railway line and, if you have a plane, its own three-mile runway, is in the middle of nowhere.

He boasts that his plan is in the local core strategy – but fails to mention this is only the result of intense lobbying by highly paid lawyers, planning consultants and PR firms for the past eight years. But then, with the 106-acre site reputedly costing Fairfield a cool �1m an acre, there’s a lot at stake for the shadowy Stevenage-based firm.

Mr Biart also fails to mention that originally the planners intended including his site in the core strategy, which runs to 2021 and beyond, only subject to the A14 being re-routed.

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Of course we need more affordable homes for our local youngsters, but we also need a decent infrastructure in place before our town has its population increased by over a third.

Key to this – and so much of our economy locally and nationally – is getting the A14 improvements off the back burner … only then is it time to discuss this project.

Impatient Mr Biart will no doubt find some weasel words to disagree.

But then this is a man who once described Godmanchester as being part of “Greater Huntingdon”.

How little he understands the town – or the resolve of its people to stop his scheme from going ahead.


Almond Close