Huntingdon link road inquiry put off for Tesco traffic analysis

THE public inquiry into the proposed new link road in Huntingdon town centre that its promoters say could reduce peak-time ring-road traffic by more than 40 per cent has been adjourned for a month.

The delay until October 11 is to enable Cambridgeshire County and Huntingdonshire District Councils to model traffic flows on two alternative alignments proposed by Tesco Stores Limited and Santon Group Developments Limited, which have an interest in the former Silent Channel site at the northern end of the planned link between Brampton Road and Ermine Street.

Their consultant, Mark Buxton, told the inquiry that the proposed road would deliver very limited benefit, and either of the objectors’ alternative proposals and the do-nothing option would deliver more in developer contributions than the councils’ plan, at the same time as making an additional convenience superstore possible.

The councils say the two alternatives would be more expensive to build and one would involve demolishing four more homes than the one than the one that would have to be knocked down to make way for CCC’s �10million project – the construction cost is around �3.5m.

Mr Buxton told the inquiry that the councils plan “results in the redevelopment options for the site being constrained such that only smaller areas of floor-space can be accommodated.

“This undermines the most efficient and viable redevelopment of [his clients’] site such that the option is in fact the worst performing in planning terms.”

He added: “The Santon land could potentially accommodate residential, employment, leisure or retail uses, the latter potentially in the form of a convenience superstore. However this aspiration could not be realised with the link road running through the middle of the site.”

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HDC’s planning chief. Steve Ingram, said the objectors were suggesting adding a large amount of retail floor-space to Huntingdon West without any supporting evidence to justify it.

“It is a standard out-of-town format dropped into this sensitive edge of centre site,” he said.