Lib Dems fury as government gives go-ahead for new homes on NIAB2 site

July 3, 2009 12:09 PM
Belinda Brooks-Gordon

Councillor Belinda Brooks-Gordon

Cambridge Liberal Democrats are furious that plans for 1,200 homes on the city's second NIAB site have been backed by a government inspector.

Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Change and Growth, Sian Reid said: "Cambridge just can't cope with this extra growth. The county council hasn't yet worked out how it is going to deal with the traffic generated by the existing growth programme and now it has backed building these extra homes.

"There is ambiguity about the county council's transport assessments. One study says the city can take all the transport from the now huge north west quadrant, while other submissions say Cambridge can't cope without TIF and congestion charging.

"There is muddled thinking from the county council locally about the north west of the city. On the one hand, it has agreed that the link road between Huntingdon Road and Madingley Road should be designed to discourage through traffic and yet, in a later report, it is promoting a direct link for cars between these two roads, presumably to deflect cars, travelling from the new A14 and new development, from Huntingdon Road to Madingley Road.

"The county council's leaders have very little grasp of conditions on the ground and seem keen simply to support South Cambridgeshire District Council's desire to load more development on the edge of Cambridge."

Castle Ward County Councillor, Belinda Brooks-Gordon said: "I am appalled by this decision. The air quality from pollution, specifically of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, as well as the noise are known to impact on health and wellbeing, so anyone living on the site would have poor quality of life.

"The climate change crisis has to be addressed too, and at every level in the county council's work. It constantly fails to do this."

Cllr Brooks-Gordon also raised the issue of the lack of primary school places in the city for reception children and the increased demand the new housing will bring.

She added: "The county council has been sitting on its hands for a long time, although it was clear that there will be a crisis in primary places. They should not respond to one crisis by deepening another one."

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