St Neots could be facing a “huge infrastructure shortfall” in the next few years if thousands of new homes are built without the supporting amenities in place.
That is the view of St Neots Town Council which was asked to provide a response to Huntingdonshire District Council’s draft Local Plan, a blueprint document that sets out planning guidance across the district for the next 20 years.
St Neots has been earmarked as an area for development, with thousands of new homes planned for the eastern edge of town.
St Neots councillor Roger Harrison, who penned the report for HDC, said: “We are concerned there is not enough emphasis on striking the correct balance between housing development and new or improved infrastructure.
“Our view is that the proposed development will place great pressure on all our facilities and services. We feel the town will suffer because of this and this will need to be addressed. We have great concerns over the lack of proposed infrastructure improvements and a funding gap compared to the amount of proposed development.
“Our view is that every resident in St Neots should suffer nil detriment to their living standards or lifestyles due to any development in the town and the council do not believe this is the case under the current proposals.”
Highways issues were cited as the council’s greatest concern, particularly increased traffic on the A428 when house-building goes ahead at Wintringham Park, where planners won outline planning approval for 2,800 homes last month.
“The A428 is essential to the improvement of the local economy in St Neots,” said Cllr Harrison.
“St Neots Town Council wishes to work with Huntingdonshire District Council to ensure the dualling of the A428 is included in the Department for Transport’s road programme.
“Our view is that without major improvement between the Black Cat roundabout and Caxton Gibbet, St Neots will not enjoy the economic growth that is proposed in the Local Plan,” added Councillor Harrison.
After being re-elected as Huntingdon’s MP, Jonathan Djanogly told The Hunts Post: “The A428 is the total key for St Neots people. There are plans to build new homes and we do need these homes but we need the infrastructure to go with it. It is not a question of it not being put in place, but we need to stay on top of it to make sure it does happen.”