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Julian Huppert MP
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Lib Dems go into battle to stop NIAB homes

October 10, 2008 1:52 PM
NIAB homes protest

Protesting (from left) Valerie Holt and councillors Sian Reid and Tania Zmura at the NIAB site

Liberal Democrats have drawn up battle plans to stop almost 1,000 homes being built on the second NIAB site.

They are urging residents to sign a petition to halt the development after Tory-controlled South Cambs District Council made a dramatic U-turn to release the site between Huntingdon Road, Histon Road and the A14.

They fear the move, for an extra 920 homes could add to traffic congestion in the area and leave families living close to the notorious A14.

Castle Ward councillor, Tania Zmura said: "Since the shock announcement by South Cambs, dozens of Castle residents have been in touch with me to support our campaign to stop South Cambs, and the government planning inspector approving this second big NIAB site.

"Cambridge can't cope with more growth now. The transport solutions we were promised by the Labour Government and the Conservative County Council have failed to materialise, and more housing would make things even worse."

The controversial decision to release the site has been made despite the fact that the district council acknowledges the flood risk of developing the site but dismisses it by claiming there is "no reason why a satisfactory drainage scheme" could not be put forward.

South Cambs agreed that public transport would be extended to serve the site, yet the Conservative run county council has still not solved transport issues with the two existing development sites in Castle ward.

In fact, the county has delayed decisions on the Cambridge transport strategy until after an independent transport commission takes a view. out strategic thinking on the issue to an external independent commission.

Sian Reid, Executive Councillor for Climate Change and Growth said: "The city council is sending a formal response to South Cambs on its proposals to develop this site. Our position on it has been very clear all along; we have objected to this site coming forward for development.

"The city council agreed in 2006 which sites should come forward for development in Castle ward. Our priority now is to get these developments right for Castle and for Cambridge, and to fight for the right transport solutions for both existing and new residents. We are firmly against more growth jammed onto the edge of this city in a panic to achieve target numbers, as it will overload Cambridge. Enough is enough. "

Resident Valerie Holt said: "We are suffering huge traffic congestion problems at the moment and it can only get much worse if these new homes are allowed to be built. It is vital residents realise that that this is a real threat to their way of life and act now to stop this development."