Tesco plans for Huntingdon could create more than 100 jobs

An artist's impression of how the Ermine Street end of the new Huntingdon West Link Road could look.

An artist's impression of how the Ermine Street end of the new Huntingdon West Link Road could look. - Credit: Archant

The transformation of the edge of Huntingdon town centre could include a drive-through restaurant, a hotel and pub, new homes and a care home, possibly creating more than 100 jobs.

As revealed two weeks ago by The Hunts Post, supermarket giant Tesco, via its development arm Spen Hill Limited, has submitted plans for land it owns at the Ermine Street end of the new Huntingdon West Link Road.

The proposals are split into three applications submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council, one for the homes, another for the hotel, restaurant and pub and a third for the care home. Each seeks approval, in principle.

A planning statement by CgMs Consulting, in support of Spen Hill’s plans, suggests the site between the railway and the new road is suitable for a 48-bed, four-storey hotel linked to a pub, either above or next to it.

It also proposes a restaurant, with a drive-through, although says other variations would be possible. There would be about 90 parking spaces.

About 85 homes are planned for either side of the link road, 26 three-bed townhouses, two terraced houses and 56 flats, a mix of one, two and three beds, in five blocks.

Usually in developments of this size, HDC would require 40 per cent of new homes to be affordable but the CgMs statement argues having any affordable homes would make the scheme no longer viable. It blames high costs of clearing and developing the site.

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The care home proposal features 74 bedrooms spread over four floors, 10 “assisted care units” and eight “independent living units”. There would be about 25 parking spaces and access would be via Ferrars Road, off the ring road.

The precise number of jobs created was not known, said the report, but estimates suggested the pub/restaurant could generate the equivalent of 45 full-time posts, 24 at the hotel and 40 at the care home.

Sainsbury’s already has permission for a foodstore at the Brampton Road end of the new link road and the Spen Hill report says its proposal would complement what has been agreed.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We have been working extensively with the council and community to make sure it is the right fit for the area.

“The development will substantially improve pedestrian and cycle links between the town centre and Stukeley Meadows and Hinchingbrooke, and create a substantial number of jobs as well as bring new life to this part of Huntingdon.”