Councillors refuse plans for Great War hub for a second time

Huntingdonshire District Council turned down the plans.

Huntingdonshire District Council turned down the plans. - Credit: Archant

A proposal to build a First World War education hub on the site of a former golf course has been refused following a wave of objections.

The application, submitted by Lest We Forget, went before Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel on Monday after it was deferred earlier this year.

The proposal included a 500-bay car park, museum buildings, fishing lake, internal watercourse and track for a narrow gauge railway, including replica trenches for use as a film set.

But since its submission, in September last year, the application has been met with dozens of objections from parish councils, villagers and business.

At the meeting, held on Monday, concerns were highlighted including the impact to local businesses including Woodgreen Animal Shelter and an equestrian centre, which backs onto the site.

Both councillors and members of the public also raised concerns over noise, travel and transport that they said hadn’t been addressed since the application was deferred by the committee in May.

Councillor Jason Ablewhite, who put forward the proposal to refuse the plan, said: “We haven’t got all the information required to make an informed decision.

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“The fact that it has potential significant impact on adjourning businesses is my main reason for refusing this.”

Councillors voted in favour of refusing the site despite a recommendation from planning officer Dallas Owen to approve the application and four members voting against the refusal.

Speaking after the meeting, Tony Clark, on behalf of the applicant said: “I will go back and talk to the team. I don’t think we are going to make any headway on this site for a number of reasons. It is disappointing but we have been doing this for a long time now.”

Following the refusal, it emerged that Huntingdon-based business Mick George acquired the former Hemingford Abbots Golf Course earlier this year, but it is not yet known how the company will use the site.

A spokesman for the company told The Hunts Post: “I can confirm that Mick George Ltd has purchased the Hemingford Abbott Golf Club site on April 7.”

The news came to light at the development management committee on Monday when members of both Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbots parish council’s eluded to the sale.

Councillor Bridget Flanagan, from Hemingford Abbots Parish Council, said: “I don’t know why this application continues as our council understands that this site has been bought by a well known skip and haulage company.”