Not enough jobs or school places for west St Ives expansion

I FULLY understand the concerns of Councillors Peter Godley, Colin Hyams and Nigel Pauley regarding a large-scale development in Godmanchester consisting upwards of 800 dwellings (The Hunts Post, September 21).

We in St Ives have great concerns for large-scale development west of St Ives, which will burden us with 750 to 800 dwellings with no major improvements to infrastructure or any tangible proposals for extra school places.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, imposed just under 500,000 new homes for the Eastern region in the early days of the last Labour Government, and initially Huntingdonshire’s share of that was set at 11,200, but later increased substantially.

The District’s market towns were expected to accept a fair share of the bulk of development, although St Neots was getting the lion’s share, which will make it the largest town in Cambridgeshire.

We in St Ives were opposed to the West of St Ives developments, and there were those who felt that it should have been north of the town. Like the parish of Houghton and Wyton, St. Ives wanted a sizable green gap between our two settlements to maintain our identity and individuality.

The current proposals for a St Ives West urban design framework, being consulted upon until last Friday, do indicate a ‘green gap’, allowances for in the region 750 dwellings; plus a green open space, but the concerns are that the adjacent Houghton Road, the A1123, will not cope with the extra traffic, especially as it struggles to cope at the moment.

The other big concern is education, and how local schools will cope with the large numbers of children from the developments, considering that no new school is planned.

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The three local towns of Huntingdon, St Ives, and Godmanchester will further become dormitory towns, as there are currently insufficient quality jobs to support the huge amount of in-migration.

While we need development for our own natural growth, the developments planned to date will not be sustainable because of the in-migration, which in turn will mean more commuters travelling south on the busy A14, and the only saving factor is the Enterprise Zone planned for Alconbury.

I am glad that we have local councillors like Peter Godley, Colin Hyams and Nigel Pauley who can clearly see the writing on the wall, and will argue for what they believe in.

Councillor JOHN W DAVIES

Westbury Road

St Ives