Appeal over plans to build homes at Little Paxton

The Riversfield site at Little Paxton

The Riversfield site at Little Paxton - Credit: Archant

Schools and roads would not be able to cope if a scheme to build homes on land at Little Paxton is given the go-ahead, the mayor of St Neots, Cllr Barry Chapman, has warned.

He said a planning appeal was being made by developers over the site at Riversfield, off the Great North Road, after it was turned down by Huntingdonshire District Council.

“The point is that hardly anyone is aware of this and they need to be aware so they can comment on it,” Cllr Chapman said.

He said that much of the new housing development in the St Neots area was aimed at young people who would go on to have families - with treble the number of children on the Loves Farm estate than was anticipated.

The intake at Little Paxton school had been increased but nearly all the places had been accounted for.

The plan, for 199 houses and commercial development, was rejected by the district council last November, but the site already has permission for commercial use.

Cllr Chapman said the number of proposed homes fell below the 200 limit which triggers community benefits funded by the developer which helped pay for improvements to educational and health facilities as well as roads.

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He said the site fed on to the “notoriously dangerous” slip road on to the A1 and would put more pressure on the narrow bridge at Little Paxton which was prone to flooding.

Cllr Chapman said plans to re-energise St Neots town centre was the shortage of sites to create jobs and he would rather see a commercial use.

“I think it would be better for a business park to be built on the whole site as there would not be the pressure on the school,” he said.

“I haven’t met anyone who is in favour of it.”

At the district council meeting Cllr Jason Ablewhite said the scheme was a departure from the local plan and was a “kite flying” exercise by developers.

St Neots property firm Brown and Co Barfords are acting for the developer but declined to comment on Cllr Chapman’s views.

The district councils development management committee will hear on June 18 that the authority stands by its decision to refuse planning permission at the forthcoming appeal.