Why I will always fight Bearscroft development in Godmanchester
BEARSCROFT Farm: I would like the people of Godmanchester to know exactly where I stand on this.
Those who know me will be aware that I have said, and will always say, I will do all I can to stop the development.
When I first came into politics I wanted to do so much and then slowly realised this was not possible because, like all organisations, you have chiefs and indians. The set-up of the local political parties is no different. As a councillor, unless you are in the select few in the cabinet you have no power. Opposition parties have even less influence.
My first objective is always to remember that I am only the voice of the people I represent. I fight for my patch and for their corner as best I can.
I was in the district council cabinet for a few years and constantly voted against Bearscroft Farm. Those who read my political literature will know that I have kept up the same message.
We don’t want it! We have no infrastructure for it! Yes we need more homes but not here and certainly not now.
I have had words with the ‘chiefs’ at HDC expressing my dissatisfaction over this scheme going ahead. I have also had many sessions with the planning department. I have joined forces with my political opponents to fight Fairfield as this is not a political issue in any shape or form, nor should it be one.
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I have also been working with GRAB (Godmanchester Residents Against Bearscroft) since its formation and helped to produce the many posters that were seen around the town.
Last week, councillors attended a presentation by the developers. The meeting was only announced with a few days’ notice and our elected town councillors were not considered important enough to be eligible to attend.
The main purpose was to sell the idea to HDC’s development management panel. Six smart-suited gentlemen from the various companies with a strong financial interest lectured the audience that everything was just going to turn out great, and how lucky we were in Godmanchester to have such a well thought out plan.
Those of you who have been confronted by timeshare salesmen will know just what I am talking about.
They are going to put on buses that run seven days a week to stop us using our cars. Tell that to a young mother with two children and a pushchair when it is raining.
Oh yes, they did mention that most houses will have parking space for two or more cars.
Despite my concern about the 400-year-old bridge linking Godmanchester with Huntingdon, this madness runaway train rolls on and gathers speed.
The developers and the councils (county and district) still have not solved the traffic problem through Godmanchester. The developer is offering a small sum of money towards the cost of a survey in Post Street while they are still building the development. Yes, I did say survey not a solution.
They still refuse to answer the question “what happens if traffic comes to a standstill within Godmanchester while you are still working on the site”.
The developers are talking about new footpaths to schools and into Godmanchester, and made the statement several times that they had to negotiate with other land owners to get this.
There is no guarantee that permission will be granted.
Another important issue was that the draft Local Plan for development up to 2036 is now out for consultation, asking people to have their say.
It does not close until late July, so if the proposed development goes to a panel in July, it would make a mockery of the consultation.
The only part of this project that seems sustainable is the relationship that the developers have with the highways and planners.
Cllr COLIN HYAMS
Ward member for