Opposition group to fight plans for new homes in village

An aerial shot of the application site in a field in the north of Warboys along Station Road.

An aerial shot of the application site in a field in the north of Warboys along Station Road. - Credit: Google Maps

An opposition group has been set up to object to plans to build 48 affordable dwellings in a Huntingdonshire village.

A proposal was submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) last year by the Longhurst Group, a housing development company, to erect a new residential development in Warboys, off Station Road.

The plans sparked uproar in the community and instigated the formation of the Station Road Development Opposition Group, which currently boasts 291 members.

More than 73 public comments and 400 letters have been submitted to HDC objecting to the plans, including concerned residents and Warboys Parish Council members.

A street view of the field off Station Road in Warboys where an application has been submitted to build houses.

A street view of the field off Station Road in Warboys where an application has been submitted to build houses. - Credit: Google Maps

Greg Sewell, running the opposition group, said the greatest concerns included the loss of farmland and the pressures more housing and an added population will put on local infrastructure.

Greg said: "Irrespective of the farmland, the infrastructure in Warboys as a village has grown so much now, we're at a state where doctors, dentists and schools can't cope.

"We feel quite worried, and I think from a perspective of looking at what's gone on, I would say we're not in a very good position.

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"However, it doesn't mean that we are going to stop trying to fight this; whatever we can do, we will continue to do every step of the way."

The Parish Council were first notified of the plans by HDC on November 19, 2021, and subsequently commissioned Cheffins, a specialist planning consultancy, to assess Longhurst's application.

The Station Road Development opposition group plan to distribute posters to houses in the village to spread awareness.

The Station Road Development opposition group plan to distribute posters to houses in the village to spread awareness. - Credit: Greg Sewell

Cheffins produced a report listing several reasons why the proposal isn't fit to be approved and that approval would undermine policies within the Huntingdonshire Local Plan 2019.

One of the objections submitted by Warboys Parish Council said: "The site is defined as Grade 2 Agricultural Land which recognises that is 'best and most versatile' (PPS7 and Agricultural Land Classification) and therefore it should be retained in agricultural use if at all possible."

The land is also owned by HDC, and the Longhurst Group has previously entered into a joint venture with the HDC, which the opposition group and Cheffins have highlighted as concerning and a potential conflict of interest.

A spokesperson for HDC said: "The application is still being assessed, and therefore a formal recommendation hasn’t been reached, so no updates can be given at this time."