St Ives residents final bid to block petrol station development

DETERMINED residents opposing a supermarket s plans to build a petrol station near their homes are issuing a rallying cry in a last-ditch attempt to block the scheme. Residents living near the Co-op in Constable Road have vowed to fight tooth and nail t

DETERMINED residents opposing a supermarket's plans to build a petrol station near their homes are issuing a rallying cry in a last-ditch attempt to block the scheme.

Residents living near the Co-op in Constable Road have vowed to "fight tooth and nail" the store's plans to erect a car wash and filling station.

But Huntingdonshire District Council's planners, whose refusal in 2003 was overturned the following year by a planning inspector, believe there are no grounds to refuse what is effectively a repeat of the same application, which has now expired.

Jean Eason, of Arran Way, who is leading C.A.P.S (Community Against Petrol Station) said the application is "unwanted and unnecessary".

The 58-year-old said there were concerns about increased noise and traffic and a reduction in supermarket spaces resulting in customers parking in side streets.

Mrs Eason said: "Great efforts have been made recently by the town council and others to improve the environment in the town, more particularly to the north of St Ives which had previously been sadly forgotten. This development is unnecessary, unwanted and does not favour either the environment or the amenity of residents."

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More than 300 people have signed a petition opposing the plans.

St Ives Town Council recommended the application be refused and the mayor Cllr Brian Luter described the plans as "completely un-neighbourly".

This is the third time Co-op has applied for permission to carry out the development. In 2004 it won a planning appeal and was granted permission as long as the work started within five years. But that time expired last month and a new application has been submitted.

A spokesman for Anglia Regional Co-op Society said the application had been updated to deal with noise concerns and traffic management.

HDC planners have recommended the plans be approved. A final decision is expected to be taken at the Burgess Hall in St Ives on Monday (December 21) at 7pm.

Mrs Eason is urging people to attend the meeting to show their opposition.

She said: "It is imperative that we turn out in force both to underline our own objections and to support our town councillors who recommended refusal. This is our only chance to make our case and though just before Christmas attending the meeting may well inconvenience other plans, not to attend may well result in the far greater inconvenience of a petrol station literally on our doorsteps."

INFORMATION: Anyone wishing to support the campaign should e-mail protest@fsmail.net

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