Army' is forming to fight new town
PUBLISHED: 12:05 13 September 2007 | UPDATED: 12:52 04 May 2010
AN army of villagers is being recruited across East Cambridgeshire to go into battle against giant developer Multiplex and defeat its plan for a massive new town. Almost 150 supporters packed into Haddenham s Arkenstall Centre on Monday night to answer th
AN army of villagers is being recruited across East Cambridgeshire to go into battle against giant developer Multiplex and defeat its plan for a massive new town.
Almost 150 supporters packed into Haddenham's Arkenstall Centre on Monday night to answer the cry for help and were urged to gather as many new recruits as they could from their children's schools, activity groups and other organisations.
Farmers were called on to get their tractors out on roads around the district on Tuesday, October 9, when a Government inspector arrives in the village to decide the future of the controversial Mereham project.
Volunteers were also being signed up to put up protest placards across the region and demonstrate peacefully outside the public inquiry.
"We owe it to our children and grandchildren to fight this new town," Haddenham and Stretham county and district councillor, Bill Hunt, told the public meeting. "If this development is allowed to happen it will mess up our lives. It will be a living hell. If everyone gets more people involved, we have got an army they can't beat."
Protestors were warned that the new town project would lead to heavy lorries carrying gravel and cement through the district for the next 20 years.
The first phase of the 1,686-acre scheme is due to begin in 2009 and building will not finish until 2028. By the time it is completed it could bring 8,000 new homes onto open green fields and bank more than one thousand million pounds for Australian developer, Multiplex.
Haddenham district councillor, Gareth Wilson, told the meeting: "We need people to be at this inquiry for the whole six weeks. We need to organise a rota to make sure there are a good number of people listening.
"We have got to prove that we are not forgetting about it."
Cllr Hunt said: "If Multiplex gets the go-ahead for this development it is bankable, blue chip security for the company.
"This is happening and it's happening now. It is the biggest thing that has faced East Cambridgeshire since it existed. It is awful and it can happen.