Campaigners' final assault on Multiplex

PUBLISHED: 13:40 20 December 2007 | UPDATED: 13:07 04 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the planned Mereham new town have mounted their final assault on the project, accusing the developers to trying to steamroller democracy. After a four-week break, the inquiry reconvened to hear objections to Multiplex s last-minute

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the planned Mereham new town have mounted their final assault on the project, accusing the developers to trying to "steamroller" democracy.

After a four-week break, the inquiry reconvened to hear objections to Multiplex's last-minute changes to the A10.

Demonstrators turned out again with banners declaring 'Say No to Mereham' and challenged the proposals in the final week of the hearing.

"The lives of the residents within a 20-mile radius would be severely affected by the latest proposals," said Cllr Bill Hunt, who represents Haddenham on the county council and Wilburton and Stretham on the district council.

"The impact in Haddenham and Wilburton would be so significant that normal life would not be a possibility."

He added that this latest move is an attempt to "steam roller the people and democracy of the area".

"If this dreadful development were to be approved, it is clear to any sane person that any A10 road alterations must be completed before the start of the building work on the site.

"To allow high levels of construction traffic to be accessing the Mereham site whilst road widening was being carried out on the A10 would subject the local area to a living hell.

"View this plan for what it is and like us please say 'no'," he told the inspector.

Haddenham councillor, Gareth Wilson, said: "The latest plans for the A10 are typical of the arrogance of these developers, who show scant regard for the opinions of residents."

He accused Multiplex of making no effort to communicate the planned A10 changes to local parishes or people "apart from the minimum legal requirement of one advert in the local paper".

"It was again up to me and a loyal band of helpers to tell the 4,000 local residents of what was planned for their villages and their local roads to work," he added

"Not surprisingly, well over 80 people have written to the inspector in the few days allowed to complain about these outrageous plans and to tell him how they will affect their lives.

"The road works alone will last for months or even years and cause chaos to everyone including the new residents of Mereham."

Transport consultant David Tucker, who worked on the A10 improvements for Multiplex, told the inquiry: "The proposed public transport improvements along the A10 corridor will be fully consistent with Cambridgeshire's public transport strategy and will considerably improve public transport accessibility for all along the corridor, reducing the need for car based travel.

"The evidence also establishes that the proposed improvements to the A10 will significantly improve both capacity and safety to the benefit of all users of the corridor."

Final submissions to the inquiry will be heard on January 8.

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