Population explosion would destroy city's economy

February 26, 2009 2:57 PM
Cllr Sian Reid

Cllr Sian Reid worried for the future of Cambridge

Leading city councillors fear a "ludicrous" plan which could see Cambridge grow to four times its size by 2031 could destroy the city's economy.

They are worried that the scheme would wreck Cambridge's chance of attracting and keeping people of international calibre.

The fears have been expressed by City Council Leader, Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith and Executive Councillor for Change and Growth, Councillor Sian Reid following the publication of a study by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA).

It reveals plans for growth up to 2031 and beyond, which could see Cambridge grow from a population of just over 115,000 up to a staggering 400,000,

"This is an irresponsible and ludicrous proposition," said Cllr Reid. "There is no way Cambridge could grow to a city of that size without wrecking all that makes it able to attract people of international calibre to work and live here."

Cllr Nimmo-Smith said: "Cambridge plays a crucial role in the UK economy but it will lose that status if the quality of life here is destroyed.

"EERA made no attempt to work with the city council on these proposals before publication "

He added that it is possible that EERA is talking about a population explosion, not just in Cambridge but in the Cambridge sub region as a whole.

"This is a massive expansion and one that could only be achieved by a series of settlements linked by a first class transport system - something we have seen no evidence that the government is willing to fund," he added.

Cllr Reid and Cllr Nimmo-Smith hope that the new Cambridgeshire Development Study, due out on Monday and commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council, will give a better idea of what is actually feasible.

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