Councillors in St Ives have expressed “serious concerns” that a planning document being compiled by Huntingdonshire District Council will fail to address the need for new housing in the town.
St Ives Town Council says the long-term housing needs of the town are at risk of being ignored and added that there is “insufficient funding identified to cover critical and essential infrastructure requirements”.
The town council raised its fears when providing feedback to the district council’s draft Local Plan, a document which sets out a long-term vision for development across Huntingdonshire.
The document seeks to clarify the council’s strategy for development in the whole of Huntingdonshire, its policies for managing development, and details of sites for development to meet the needs of the district.
The district council is in the process of drawing up its new local plan, which will cover the period up until 2036, and is seeking feedback from parish and town councils across the area.
Responding to the plan, St Ives Town Council said the issues of housing and infrastructure would “need to be addressed before the final plan is submitted, otherwise it would be difficult for St Ives Town Council to give support”.
In producing comments for the Local Plan, the town council held a public meeting in the St Ives Corn Exchange on August 9, attended by both local residents and those from the surrounding villages.
In its feedback, the council said: “The new housing allocation for St Ives is likely to be delivered within the next few years. This could result in no additional housing for around 15 years of the plan, this is not sustainable.
“St Ives has around 10 per cent of the Huntingdonshire population, yet only 2.5 per cent of the proposed new housing. A public meeting held by the town council to discuss the Local Plan supported the idea that additional housing will be needed in the town to accommodate the demand for young people to stay in the area and for existing residents that wish to change their type of accommodation, and newcomers to St Ives.”
The town council added that it wished to work with the district council to look again at the need for new housing sites and associated infrastructure in the town.
A spokesman for the district council said: “St Ives Town Council’s responses will be carefully considered, alongside all those we have received, before the draft plan is finalised.”