Lib Dems shocked by more homes for Arbury Park

October 1, 2008 11:18 AM

Liberal Democrats are shocked by a surprise announcement that a further 220 houses are planned for Arbury Park.

The decision comes from Tory-controlled South Cambridgeshire District Council even though existing residents on the estate have been left living on a building site with work unfinished.

They have been left with no street signs or lighting, unfinished pavements and little in the way of community facilities.

Now the council has announced it wants to develop land next to the A14 and admits the site offers little in the way of public open space..

Arbury councillor, Rupert Moss-Eccardt said: "This is an important and sensitive site, already with many acknowledged design flaws.

"It is vital that we oppose an increase in numbers when there is a lack of decent community facilities and poor open space.

"Although the growth agenda is important and we should be doing our bit, this has become not so much of a growth agenda as a crowding agenda and we need to reappraise the whole thing.

"It seems to be that South Cambs is looking around for bits of space where anything goes. It's not about planning, it's about seeing where it lands."

Lib Dems fear this latest announcement means residents living on the new site will be condemned to the stress of noise pollution and poor air quality from the A14.

Arbury councillor, Alan Levy, said: "The council is not listening to its own advice. Its design guide says this is a difficult site to develop because of the noise constraints of the A14 and yet they are going ahead with it anyway. They are living in a different universe to the rest of us."

Jonathan Chatfield, South East Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate and district councillor, said: "We always wanted this development to be sustainable. It needs to have the means for employment, housing and community and to make it entirely housing is not making it the community it should be.

"People are living on a building site and the developers have shut up shop and gone home. We have been trying to put pressure on South Cambs to enforce the legal contracts."

South Cambridgeshire District Council plans to keep the existing temporary noise barrier which causes acoustic problems for residents living in Impington and provides and ugly and forbidding introduction to the city, claim Lib Dems.

They fear site could become the responsibility of Cambridge City Council following a boundary review.

King's Hedges councillor Mike Pitt is worried about the additional traffic that will use King's Hedges Road and Northfield Avenue as a result of the new homes.

He said: "The load on these roads was not properly considered when Arbury Park was created and adding more houses to these sites is crazy. This may be more NIMBY than the other complaints but then it is in our back yard and we are taking a lot of traffic already."

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