Wyton homes plan dropped but developer and council in talks

HEADQUARTERS: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House

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

A bid to build 700 new homes, business space and community facilities on part of RAF Wyton’s redundant airfield, has been dropped by developers.

Planners acting for Engie Services Ltd said the decision had been prompted by HDC's refusal to accept more information.

But the developers have said they will be back with a new application later in the year.

Engie revived the proposed development of just over 100 acres of the airfield last autumn after a much bigger scheme, involving 4,500 homes, was vetoed, largely because of access issues.

Barton Willmore, for Engie, withdrew the application for Wyton Hill Gardens, following consultations with the authority.

It has said: "As we have set out previously, we are confident that we will be able to respond positively to all the points that have been raised."

Adding: "Reflecting the council's reluctance to accept additional information at this time, we have taken the decision to withdraw the application, in order to complete the design and technical work to address the comments of technical stakeholders. Later this year, we will submit a fresh application."

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Engie's application was for full planning permission for 595 homes, 193 units of retirement accommodation, 1,669 sq m of employment space, a neighbourhood centre and a community hub.

It also sought outline permission for a further 105 homes, including 30 custom-build homes, 57 units of retirement accommodation, another 150 of extra care accommodation, 68 care beds, 3,954 sq m of employment space and a pub.

A spokesperson for HDC, said: "The council continues to be in ongoing conversation with Engie and has consistently highlighted that there are important significant issues regarding the proposed development of this site, in particular its location and sustainability. Those matters are complex and could not easily or quickly have been dealt with by simple technical amendments. Consequently, the council had been seeking to progress the application for a formal decision in a timely way, so as to create certainty for not only the applicant but also for the local community on the acceptability of the application as currently presented. The council will, of course, continue to work with Engie and consultees to explore the best solution for this site and the wider Wyton airfield context set out in our Local Plan.

"Those matters are complex and could not easily or quickly have been dealt with by simple technical amendments."

St Ives Town Council has said that although it would accept development on the airfield, it wanted to know how the proposed scheme would fit in with future plans for the rest of the site.

Huntingdon Town Council has said it welcomed improved access to the A141 and plans for affordable housing.