Soham residents warned new Gateway development could disrupt life for up to 15 years - but the good news is allotments won’t have to move

A vision of the future? One of the display boards at Soham showing aspects of the gateway developmen

A vision of the future? One of the display boards at Soham showing aspects of the gateway development - Credit: Archant

Soham residents were warned they could face disruption to their town for up to 15 years once work starts on the 553 homes planned as part of the Eastern Gateway development.

A public consultation organised by This Land Ltd – the county council’s new development arm – was open about timescales.

“We hope to be on site by early 2020 with the full development likely to take 1015 years to complete,” said a spokesman.

The scheme has received a Government injection of £6.3million to get the ball rolling after the master plan was first considered seven years ago.

Included in a planning application will also be a roundabout onto the A142, a new medical centre, new business units and leisure and retail areas.

This Land has promised a further public exhibition to look at types of homes to be built there, information on transport, phasing of the development and whether residents’ feedback “has informed any changes”.

A community hub features among the proposals that could include a new shop and possibly a café.

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This Land is also hoping to attract start up or existing Soham businesses to the commercial sectors within the Gateway development.

They promise a new roundabout onto the A142 will be the only vehicle access to the site “and the principle of this has been agreed with the highway authority”.

They expect a “modest increase” in traffic along the A142 – up to 300 additional vehicles during peak hours.

A spokesman for This Land said: “Road access to the town centre from Brewhouse Lane will not be included in the planning application.”

However the spokesman said there is the possibility of an access road being proposed at a later date if the GPs are able to move to a new site.

“Were this to happen, it would be part of a separate planning application made by the owners of the medical centre.”

This Land says no development is proposed for the existing allotment land “and therefore allotments will not be relocated”.

The project is one of 20 new sites acquired by This Land across Cambridgeshire.

David Gelling, managing director, said: “We are committed to going above and beyond for its customers through the delivery of desirable neighbourhoods and setting new standards for a future beyond the traditional house builder in the UK.”