Planners must ‘press stop button’ on development

Councillor Steve van de Kerkhove

Councillor Steve van de Kerkhove - Credit: Archant

More new homes are planned for St Neots raising fears about the lack of infrastructure in place to support local families.

An outline planning application for 79 new homes, on land off Potton Road, has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council. The proposal is for a mix of two, three and four-bedroomed homes on 3.7 hectares of land between the railway line, the St Neots bypass and Potton Road in Eynesbury. The application, which will contain 40 per cent affordable homes and includes 1.95 hectares of open space, is due to be heard in the next few weeks.

St Neots has been earmarked as an area for huge housing development and thousands of new homes are already planned for the eastern edge of the town. Outline planning approval has been granted for 2,800 homes at Wintringham Park.

This latest move has angered Steve van de Kerkhove, town councillor for Eynesbury, who believes planners need to “press the stop button” on any more new homes.

“On top of Loves Farm and Wintringham Park the town just can’t cope with anymore new homes,” he said.

“Let’s get the A14 and the A428 sorted out first and then make sure there are enough community facilities in place before we think about building any more new homes. The over arching question here is simply ‘what benefit is any of this to the existing local community’?

“Developers should not be allowed to build homes unless they are going to improve the lives of people already living here. We really need to press the stop button now.”

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In May, The Hunts Post reported that Eaton Socon councillor Roger Harrison had compiled a report in response to the draft local plan, outlining his concerns about the level of new homes. It was done on behalf of St Neots Town Council,

In the report he said: “We have great concerns about the lack of proposed infrastructure improvements compared to the amount of proposed development.”

Highways issues were cited as the town council’s greatest concern, particularly increased traffic on the A428 when the Wintringham Park development goes ahead.

In the planning document for the Potton Road development, agents Strutt Parker say the scheme will “create a well designed and integrated, landscape-led residential development. Providing new high quality open space with play areas for the existing and new community to enjoy.”