Garage plans which upset residents are set for approval

Garage replacement plan

Residents up in arms about plans by Chorus Homes to demolish garage areas and replace them with housing - Credit: Simone Taylor

Plans to demolish a series of garage blocks in St Neots and replace them with affordable homes are set to go through - despite angering nearby residents who fear traffic problems.

Huntingdon-based housing association Chorus Homes wants to knock down 165  mainly disused garages around Eynesbury and build 30 "much needed" new homes.

It has submitted 14 separate planning applications to Huntingdonshire District Council where planners are now recommending them for approval.

They will be considered by the district's Development Management Committee on February 21.

People living near the garages say their loss would add to existing parking problems in the area and cause a traffic hazard.

St Neots Town Council has also come out against the plans.

Planners considered the design of the new homes would make a "positive contribution" when set against the 1960s-built garages.

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However, they did accept that the displacement of vehicles parking from the various garage sites could be an issue.

"Though the loss of parking provision is naturally going to result in increased pressure on the adjacent roads forming the estate, which officers have witnessed first-hand, it does not present with any significant highway safety concerns, as detailed in the consultee comments from CCC Highways," planners said on the separate applications.

"Therefore, when the impacts of the loss of these underutilised garages and the garage courts...are balanced against the need for affordable housing it is considered that the public benefits of the provision of additional affordable housing would outweigh any potential amenity issues arising from the loss of parking provision."

The town council said the garages and hardstandings had become the parking provision for the area, adding: "This will result in a significant loss of parking, pushing traffic into the street. The resulting congestion will cause significant problems for local residents, including road safety and emergency vehicle access."

The garages used to be part of the district's council housing portfolio until 2000 when they became part of what is now Chorus.

Chorus has said there was little demand for the garages and that the scheme would provide essential affordable housing. Parking space would also increase.