‘Disappointment’ over council’s decision to shelve housing site

pathfinder house, huntingdon

pathfinder house, huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire District Council has decided to withdraw an airfield as a possible site for thousands of new homes after concluding that the transport infrastructure needed for the area was “not deliverable”.

As part of its local plan to 2036, the council is required by the government to identify sites in the district which could accom-modate thousands of new homes.

As part of the Huntingdonshire plan, sustainable sites for up to 20,000 new homes must be found in the district for the plan to be approved.

Dozens of areas have been assessed by the authority over the last year, including part of Wyton Airfield, which had been earmarked for about 4,500 homes by 2036.

However, following what the council described as a ‘strategic transport study for Huntingdonshire’ the decision was taken to discount Wyton from the plan.

The council will now have to find alternative sites in the district capable of accommodating the homes.

In a statement, the council said: “Wyton Airfield is a draft allocation in the stage three version of the local plan but this work is demonstrating that the road infrastructure required to serve Wyton Airfield - and the current funding requirements for this infrastructure in particular - is not deliverable at this time.”

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Councillor Roger Harrison, the council’s executive for growth, said the site was not being ruled out permanently, however, and work would be carried out to see how it could be used in the future.

He said: “The redevelopment of this site is still considered to provide the opportunity to make a very positive contribution to meeting the future housing needs of the district.”

The move has been criticised by a development company working with the council on Wyton Airfield, however, with claims the site could have been a viable option.

Crest Nicholson, which is acting on behalf of the land-owner the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, said it was “disappointed”.

It added: “We do not agree with the council’s highways and transport work that has led to this announcement, as we have provided a detailed and thorough transport assessment, which we believe provides deliverable solutions to fully mitigate Wyton’s transport impact.

“We believe our solutions should be fully explored and answered on technical grounds, before any decision is made regarding Wyton’s status in the local plan.”