Attack on plans to build more houses
THE scale of house-building in East Cambridgeshire has once again been called into question following damning criticism of the region s over-arching development plan. The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) has refused to back Government plans for de
THE scale of house-building in East Cambridgeshire has once again been called into question following damning criticism of the region's over-arching development plan.
The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) has refused to back Government plans for development in the east - which include 8,600 homes for our district by 2021 - because of fears that the region's transport infrastructure, water supply and health provision will be stretched to breaking point with the increased population.
Proposals to push extra homes in the region to more than half a million over the next two decades were branded "neither deliverable nor sustainable" by the assembly, which said there is a serious shortfall in funding to the area's infrastructure.
Assembly deputy chairman Cllr Chris White said: "The region's quality of life and precious environment will be at risk if the Government does not listen to the views of local communities during this final period of public consultation."
South-east Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice, who conducted a wide-ranging survey last year about the quality of life in his constituency, said the assembly's views reflect those of people in the district.
"The recent survey I conducted demonstrated the concern among local people that transport infrastructure and public services are not expanding in line with housing growth," he said.
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"EERA is right to identify this problem - the reality is that the
provision of public services and amenities cannot remain static while the city and its population continue to grow."
EERA drew up the original plan for the region, but the Government's changes - including the
provision of 30,000 additional homes - have resulted in the assembly suspending its support.
Now the Government's changes will be put out to public consultation until March 9, before the final East of England plan is published in mid-2007.
David Archer, executive director of development services at the district council, said: "There has been an explosion in the number of new homes built in the last few years and we are conscious as a district council that the infrastructure needs to keep pace with this development."
"If we do not look to work with our partners to meet the transport needs, the health requirements, the school places and even the leisure demands of our new and existing residents then we will not being doing our job to give the public the best services possible."
INFO: For more information on the plan and its public consultation, visit www.goeast.gov.uk