Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for Huntingdonshire District Council to block plans that could see thousands of new homes built in St Ives.

The petition, launched by resident John McKinnie, calls on the authority to reconsider its decision to drop RAF Wyton and a major new housing development of 3,750 homes planned for the airfield, from its local plan.

The district council announced in April that the base was not longer suitable as a site for potential development because of the amount of work and money required to improve the roads and infrastructure around it.

But Mr McKinnie, and more than 490 others who have signed his petition, believe the decision was wrong and fear that housing developers are sizing up sites in St Ives to accommodate the homes that the council needs to find in place of the Wyton site.

A site at Gifford Farm, to the east of the town, is already being considered for a development of about 2,000 homes, while a neighbouring site, off Old Ramsey Road, is currently subject to a planning application for 131 properties.

Mr McKinnie believes the town is ill-equipped to cope with the type of growth that is being proposed by developers.

Mr McKinnie, who lives on the Burleigh Hill estate, said: "There is a great risk St Ives will find itself saddled with almost 3,000 extra homes without changes of any kind to infrastructure. No road improvements, no extra schools, no doctors' surgeries. None of the infrastructure considered for an RAF Wyton development.

"When you're talking about three thousands homes, you're probably going to have something like four thousand extra cars a day on the roads and the roads are bad enough as they are. It would be gridlock."

As well as calling for the RAF Wyton site to be reconsidered, the petition also calls for the district council to reject any proposed development at Gifford Farm or at Old Ramsey Road.

When the decision to withdraw RAF Wyton from the local plan was made earlier this year, Councillor Roger Harrison, the district council's executive for growth, said the site was not being ruled out permanently, however, and work would be carried out to see how it could be used in the future.

To sign the petition, log on to www.gopetition.com/petitions/building-development-plans-for-st-ives.html.