Houghton residents to fight next stage of plans to develop St Ives West

Houghton & Wyton Sign

Houghton & Wyton Sign - Credit: Archant

CAMPAIGNERS are planning to fight the next stage in developing St Ives West.

Frank Shaw Associates has submitted plans to Huntingdonshire District Council for a 224-home development on behalf of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council for their land at The Field Site, opposite Slepe Meadow, which is nearing completion.

Stop Houghton East Development are preparing their response to the document, which includes plans for 224 houses or flats and a small retail unit on the 187.7 hectare-site.

The campaigners say the plans would add significant levels of traffic to the A1123.

A traffic survey along Houghton Road, included in the documents and based on a traffic model, says that by 2020 “drivers along the main A1123 corridor will face instances when the queue is potentially three or event four times higher than the average values; leading to associated delays for through traffic”.

However the survey, by URS Infrastructure and Environment, added “the main impact is likely to result from increases in background traffic over the years and the impact of adding new junctions along the corridor to accommodate committed development, rather than the impact of the proposed development traffic itself”.

Paul Boothman, of SHED, said: “This proposal is doing nothing to keep the town and village separate which is really what got us started. The plans drive a coach and horses through that.

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“There’s nothing to protect our most precious landscape that has been put in the Oustanding Area of Natural Beauty that has been proposed. It would affect it significantly, we have proof you can see roofs and reflection from solar panels that would destroy that landscape. Huntingdonshire doesn’t have much like it.

“The conservative estimates in the traffic study show here will be a 20 per cent increase in traffic on the A1123 and it shows that at peak times cars with pass the Slepe Meadow junction every 1.8 seconds. It will be impossible to cross the road when faced with high volumes of traffic.”

He added the development’s shop would have a detrimental effect on their village shop.

The application also says the land “incorporates a significant open space area that will exceed the development requirements”, and sets out the remaining land, to the south of the site, would be transferred into public ownership.

The developers would also provide funding for planned improvements to St Ives library to cope with the extra population.