Vil­lagers hit out At homes plan

Cam­paign forms against new ‘town­ship’ pro­posed by the city coun­cil

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy 01733 588728

An­gry res­i­dents have be­gun cam­paign­ing against a ‘town­ship’ be­ing de­vel­oped close to Cas­tor and Ailsworth.

Op­po­nents to the planned 2,500 home devel­op­ment claim it will threaten im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal sites and wildlife and that its size is com­pletely out of scale with the coun­try­side.

The pro­pos­als, which are in­cluded in a draft Peter­bor­ough Lo­cal Plan, also in­clude a new coun­try park, em­ploy­ment land and a ceme­tery.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions would also be­gin for univer­sity fa­cil­i­ties to be pro­vided in the set­tle­ment.

Cas­tor res­i­dent Martin Chill­cott, leader of the Pro­tect Ru­ral Peter­bor­ough cam­paign group, said: “We think once you put an ur­ban area in the mid­dle of the coun­try­side, the coun­try­side is lost for­ever.”

Mr Chill­cott said the “town­ship” would be within 200 mo ft he Cast or Hang lands na­ture re­serve and that cats brought by new home­own­ers could kill the wildlife which in­cludes but­ter­flies and birds.

He added that Ro­man, Bronze Age and Saxon set­tle­ments lie un­der­ground of where homes would be built.

Cam­paign­ers ar­gue that the homes, which would be sep­a­rated from Cas­tor and Ailsworth by the A47, would be four times the com­bined size of the vil­lages.

They also in­sist they are not ad­verse to ex­pan­sion, with 75 new homes built in the vil­lages in the last decade and plans for 50 more in the fu­ture.

North West Cam­bridgeshire MPShaileshVara has al- ready voiced his op­po­si­tion to what Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil has dub bed the‘ Great Kyne’ set­tle­ment, claim­ing it would be “com­pletely out of keep­ing with the lo­cal area and­will set a dan­ger­ous prece­dent for fur­ther devel­op­ment in the open coun­try­side.”

The new cam­paign group says it has the sup­port of Cas­tor’s city coun­cil­lors - coun­cil leader Cllr John Holdich and cabi­net mem­ber for plan­ning and hous­ing Cllr Peter Hiller.

Cllr Hiller said him­self and Cllr Holdich “have lis­tened to what our res­i­dents are telling us and will be mak­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tions on their be­half along­side their own com­men­tary.” Cllr Holdich said he will sup­port what the vil­lagers want once the con­sul­ta­tion ends in Fe­bru­ary.

The draft plan also in­cludes 250 prop­er­ties in Eye which has led to protests from the vil­lagers.

The pro­posed new set­tle­ment - photo sup­plied by the Protest Ru­ral Peter­bor­ough cam­paign group

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