Green light for plan to build business area in town

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House - Credit: Archant

A new business area which will bring hundreds of jobs to Ramsey is set to go ahead after developers won approval for the final details of the scheme.

The site, north of the Tesco supermarket off St Mary's Road, has been given the go-ahead for an innovation centre, a range of office-style, industrial and storage/distribution uses, together with trade counter sales and car sales.

It was first granted outline permission for development in 2014 and then included a combined heat and power source, a breaker's yard and a day nursery for children, although these were later dropped.

Planners at Huntingdonshire District Council have now given approval to details of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the scheme by MJS Construction (March) Ltd, which already had outline permission.

The economic statement submitted with the firm's application said it would add nearly £23million of gross value to the local economy and bring about 150 jobs during construction and in the supply chain, together with a further 400 jobs in industry and manufacturing, 140 in the retail sector and another 140 office jobs.

The site had been in an area previously earmarked for development but was not included in the present local plan, approved earlier this year, which guides development to 2036.

District council planners said that although policies were designed to protect the countryside from unnecessary development, the scheme in question was in a sustainable location close to Tesco, the developer had carried out a review of other vacant retail premises and there were no objections on flooding grounds, which meant the principle of development could be supported.

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Ramsey Town Council had given unanimous support to the scheme on disused agricultural land.

The application said that details of the scheme had been drawn up in line with conditions imposed at the outline planning permission stage, adding: "The proposed development will provide a high quality employment development which will met the need for new employment space in Ramsey which has been identified.

"The scheme has been carefully designed to respond to its local context and the site specific constraints."