Giant warehousing complex is opposed by MP

Shailesh Vara is the MP for North West Cambridgeshire.

Shailesh Vara is the MP for North West Cambridgeshire. - Credit: SHAILESH VARA

A giant warehousing complex in the north of Huntingdonshire would "make a mockery" of the planning process if it was approved, MP Shailesh Vara has said.

Mr Vara, North West Cambridgeshire MP, said the proposed 4.6 million square feet of development by Newlands, at the junction of the A1 and A605, near Norman Cross, was contrary to the Local Plan approved two years ago.

He has meet community leaders, including local members of Huntingdonshire District Council, to discuss the scheme which has sparked major opposition.

Mr Vara said: "I am against this development and will be working closely with the local community who are also against it. 

"The proposal is in breach of the Local Plan which was agreed only two years ago after a very lengthy and expensive consultation process with the public. To now disregard the Local Plan would make a mockery of the whole process."

He added: "The arguments against this development are formidable and numerous and they will be robustly put to the planning authority.”

In addition to the impact of the development on the local plan, there were also concerns about the effect of the warehousing on nearby rural communities, including traffic and air pollution.

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Cllr Simon Bywater, district and county councillor for the Sawtry area, said: "It’s hugely important that our MP has given his full support in objecting to the development being proposed by Newlands.

"All locally elected representatives from the area are united in objecting to these proposals, which is a major concern for our residents.”

Cllr Marge Beuttell, district councillor for the Stilton area, said: "It was a pleasure to meet remotely with our local MP Shailesh Vara and our parish councils.  

"His support for the opposition of the proposed Newlands development bordering on the villages, of Alwalton, Chesterton and Elton, will give great comfort to our residents and ward councillors".

The meeting was also joined by  Kevin Shapland, action group coordinator, for villages opposing a similar development in neighbouring Northamptonshire.

The meeting resolved to raise funds and seek expert advice on the way forward and participants have appealed for help in contesting the warehousing development.