I WISH to expose the political game being played in Godmanchester.
Let me start my saying that both Councillor Laine Kadic and I have publicly stated that this Bearscroft Farm is non-political as far as we are concerned. We are both totally against this development.
Yet through the voice of Godmanchester Town Council, the opposition has continued to make this political and personal attack on both Laine and I.
The paragraph below is an extract from the minutes of the town council meeting held on July 19. It refers to the presentations we both made to the development management panel at Huntingdonshire District Council: ‘Cllr Kadic and Cllr Hyams had both made extremely good points when permitted to address the DMP, but Cllr Wilson was disappointed they had both stated they were not against the development, which undermined what Godmanchester Town Council was trying to achieve.’
Cllr Wilson knows exactly what was said but has used only the opening words of our statements.
What Cllr Kadic actually said was: “I am not against the development, it would be ok if it were to come on line at the correct time. Not now but with a new A14. With a new A14 and the viaduct in Huntingdon coming down all the traffic would have to travel around Godmanchester, it could be acceptable.”
She also went on to say: “You should also be reminded of what the planning inspector said when assessing the Core Strategy in 2009. He was concerned about the existing A14 and the developer should have to prove nil detriment on the A14. Regretfully he did not mention nil-detriment to the residents of Godmanchester.”
I made a similar plea to the panel, saying: “I too am not against a smaller scheme if the infrastructure could cope, but it cannot at the present and all of the extra traffic will have to travel though an already congested Godmanchester.
‘The town council quite rightly asks for a fuller sustainability appraisal to be undertaken within this booklet to address the full impact of the development. The town also demands a better consultation with better publicity to get more detailed views of the residents of Godmanchester.’
These are both extracts from the presentation we both made.
I hardly think this undermines what the town council is trying to achieve
Equally disappointing the newsletter put out by the town council to every resident in Godmanchester. It tries to give a brief outline of the planning structure. However, it starts a Phase 2. The document called the Core Strategy written by HDC showing future development in Huntingdonshire.
It fails to point out that before this is written, land owners have to offer up land for developers to build on.
I can truthfully say that over the many years of service to Godmanchester, I have been firmly against development on this land, and in most in-fill parts of the town. In fact in one newsletter five or six years ago I categorically stated: ‘I will fight this all the way. This is not good for Godmanchester.’
I am still supporting Godmanchester Town Council’s stance and have become involved in the Godmanchester Residents Against Bearscroft. They have my full support and, as a professional graphic designer, was responsible with the group for producing the signs which are seen about the town.
The people of Godmanchester are worried about their quality of life being ruined and so are Laine and I. That is why we intend to fight this development. In the end we may lose, but it will not be fought on political grounds.
Our town’s people deserve more than that from those who are elected.
Cllr COLIN HYAMS