RAF Wyton development should ‘go back on the agenda’

John Davies

John Davies - Credit: Archant

New housing development in the St Ives area should be geared towards the former RAF Wyton airfield, a councillor has said.

Cllr John Davies, a former mayor of St Ives, believes building up to 4,500 homes on the base should be put back on the agenda after it was dropped because of infrastructure problems.

Huntingdonshire District Council had earmarked RAF Wyton airfield - where military flying has ended - as a potential housing area in its proposed Local Plan but dropped the idea because crucial improvements to the roads could not be carried out within the required timescale.

But Cllr Davies, who is on the town and district councils, said that any significant development in the St Ives area would need infrastructure improvements, including a new river crossing, so Wyton may as well be developed.

“Development is going to end up going somewhere and I think we have seriously got to look at RAF Wyton. You could put 3,500 to 4,500 houses there.

“I think that what they are saying is that the infrastructure and another river crossing would need to be done. Whether Wyton is developed or not, other development in the area would all need infrastructure and a river crossing.”

Cllr Davies said the A1123, which runs through the middle of St Ives, was already in need of improvement, especially at peak times and when the A14 was closed.

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He said it could take him any time between 10 minutes and three-quarters of an hour to get between St Ives and Huntingdon, depending on the traffic.

Cllr Davies said he was also in favour of reviving a plan for a northern bypass for St Ives which would then create a natural boundary for new homes to be built at the top of the town.

“I think the town is divided on that and the people in the north of the town and the councillors there do not want it,” he said.

Cllr Davies said St Ives was drawing up its own town plan and he felt that development to the west and east would be equally unpopular with people living in Houghton and Wyton and Needingworth because it would mean of communities losing their separate identities.

“Both these places would not want to be part of St Ives. They like being close to St Ives but would not want to be joined, he said.