Councillors set to consider bid for retail development in Ramsey

Ramsey town council offices

Ramsey town council offices - Credit: Archant

Police fear a major development scheme which would being “much-needed” jobs to Ramsey could add to crime problems - including drug offending.

A new bid to build nearly 16 acres of retail, employment and business space, including an incubator unit to enable starter firms to develop, and a games area, has been launched by Greystoke Land.

The land, near Tesco, off St Marys Road, already has a five-year-old outline permission for a mixed use business park.

Greystoke has submitted a letter of intent saying it would develop the site if the plan is approved. Its economic statement, in an outline planning application to Huntingdonshire District Council, said the scheme would boost the area by £22.9m, and would create around 150 construction jobs, 140 retail jobs, 140 office jobs and more than 400 industrial/manufacturing jobs.

Ramsey Town Council has approved the scheme unanimously and the district council's economic development (ED) department said: "ED would just like to express wholehearted support for this proposed development which will bring much-needed jobs to the town centre of Ramsey."

But police, who assessed the scheme for potential crime issues, said they had recorded 98 offences in the area over the last two years. Some 34 of those incidents were relating to anti-social behaviour, 15 were vehicle nuisance and some incidents reported the use of drugs.

Police said: "The road from the Tesco roundabout in Neil Way, through the development and on to St Marys Road, allows easy access and 'rat run' for the vehicles already causing a nuisance at Tesco, leading to car parks within the development likely to attract vehicle nuisance and drug use - will these be gated and lockable when not is use?"

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They also raised concerns about the boundary between a pub and the multi-use games area and skate park, the boundary between the games area and a water-filled drain and asked to see lighting and CCTV plans.

The council said the applicants had been made aware of issues raised by police.

The application, in two phases, will be considered by its development management committee on Monday.

Planners are recommending approval for the scheme which is now considered to be outside its development plan area.