End of the gate as Huntingdon Waitrose complex planned

A NEW supermarket, seven other shops, a restaurant and two kiosks look set to replace the 1960s north side of Huntingdon’s Chequers Court, which used to house the Inland Revenue’s Huntingdon offices.

The redevelopment being proposed by owners Churchmanor Estates would see the whole of that side of the development demolished, including the ‘podium deck’, and units on the other side of the court, adjacent to Wilkinsons. The new build site includes part of the car park between Chequers Court and the ring road, as well as two parking areas off trinity Place and Chequers Way.

The foodstore has been designed for a new Waitrose supermarket.

The scheme will finally put paid to the controversial ‘St Germain Street gate’, which will be replaced by a new shop unit as part of the development.

Planners are recommending councillors to approve the proposals at next Monday’s meeting of Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel.

The application is supported by Huntingdon Town Council and Huntingdon Town Partnership, and English Heritage says it is “an opportunity to enhance the character and appearance of the area”.

But residents of Hartford Road, Ingram Street and Euston Street have objected to the increase in traffic queuing in Hartford Road in the evening weekday peak and at lunchtime on Saturdays and the pollution it will cause, as well as inadequate on-site parking and turning space.

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Councillors will be asked to limit plant noise levels during construction and delivery hours to service areas to limit the effect on the development’s neighbours.

Planners say the proposed design of the new buildings “adopts a pleasing simple approach, with the use of tower elements at focal points and glazed fa�ades to add interest”. They say they will require the ramp linking St Germain Walk through Chequers Court to the High Street to be kept usable during icy weather.

Churchmanor director Howard White said that, if the scheme was given the green light by the panel on Monday, it would probably be two years before shoppers were walking through the doors of the newdevelopment.