REGARDING the article entitled Eco-town approved that was featured on the front page of the St Neots edition of The Hunts Post dated September 24, I am writing to express my concerns about some aspects of the article. The way the story was reported is m
REGARDING the article entitled "Eco-town approved" that was featured on the front page of the St Neots edition of The Hunts Post dated September 24, I am writing to express my concerns about some aspects of the article.
The way the story was reported is misleading in relation to the plans for St Neots in two ways. Firstly, in relation to the status of plans for St Neots and secondly in relation to the position of our discussions with Whitehall colleagues.
Huntingdonshire District Council has consulted on plans for growth at St Neots through its Core Strategy consultation, and there will be further consultation before any plans for St Neots are firmed up. Even then, developers would have to submit plans through the normal planning process before any development is given the green light. To suggest the plan is "approved" in any sense is highly misleading.
We have discussed potential growth in St Neots with Government officials. There is real potential for this to deliver additional homes in an area where there is acute housing need, and to do so in a way that would reduce the environmental impact of these new communities.
Given this, Government has shown interest in working with Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire Horizons on these proposals. However, there is no sense in which Whitehall has gone further than this, and to suggest so is, again, misleading. We remain in discussions with Whitehall about how they could help should these proposals come forward, but there is a long way to go before any firm decisions are made. A very major part of the ongoing process will be consultation with local people, which the district council will be taking forward.
Editor's note: Parts of the original article were lost during the editing process, making the proposal seem firmer than it yet is. We are happy to clarify.