We say no to Mereham development

PUBLISHED: 10:49 15 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010

Cllr Bill Hunt protests against the traffic which will be generated by Mereham.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

Cllr Bill Hunt protests against the traffic which will be generated by Mereham. Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

THE Ely Standard is throwing its weight behind the fight to stop the Mereham new town being built in the heart of the East Cambridgeshire countryside. With its roots firmly in the area, the Standard, is keen to make sure the character of East Cambridgeshi

THE Ely Standard is throwing its weight behind the fight to stop the Mereham new town being built in the heart of the East Cambridgeshire countryside.

With its roots firmly in the area, the Standard, is keen to make sure the character of East Cambridgeshire is not changed and lost forever by this 5,000 home development.

That's why your truly local paper is making this stand and getting behind the fight to protect the rural face of the region.

Our campaign will kick off with the release of car stickers declaring Say No to Mereham supported by the Ely Standard.

These will be available free to our readers from shops in Haddenham, Wilburton, Sutton, Stretham and Witchford and from the Ely Standard offices in Market Street, Ely.

The stickers can be displayed in car or home windows to make your stand against the new town development.

There are less than eight weeks to go before giant Australian development company, Multiplex, takes its fight to build the new town to the Government.

It has called for a public inquiry after East Cambridgeshire planners rejected the project fearing that it would bring traffic chaos to the area and change the face of the district.

An inspector appointed by the Government will take arguments from the company and the campaigners over six weeks at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham from October 9.

Based on the facts presented, he will make a judgement as to whether Mereham should or should not be built.

Cllr Bill Hunt, who represents Haddenham on the county council and Wilburton and Stretham on the district council, has been taking a lead role in fighting this development.

He has just taken delivery of his latest protest signs for the campaign, warning there would be 12,000 extra cars generated by this new town.

"People have to realise what Mereham means to this area," he said. "We are talking about thousands more cars joining our already choking road systems.

"This new town is a major threat. It's not going to go away unless we fight. If we let our guard down for a minute this development could be part of our landscape."

Cllr Hunt's signs have been supplied by former Aldreth resident, Martin Potten, who now lives in Stretham, and runs a printing company in Downham Market, Norfolk.

He is supplying the signs for just £5 each as his contribution to the campaign.

"I believe this is such an obtrusive development," said Martin, of Masson Seeley. "My children are growing up in Stretham and I want to protect the area for future generations."

Stretham villagers have given 100 per cent support to the campaign.

Parish councillor, Charles Roberts and his fellow councillors have a regular item on their agenda to update villagers about Mereham.

"The whole village is firmly against it," he said. "This development is out of keeping with a rural settlement. It is a major town, with high density scale more like an inner city development.

"People are not taking this threat seriously. Multiplex is putting serious resources into fighting this and it is a very real situation which will come about."

The Ely Standard will be bringing readers all the news from the campaign so please get in touch by email to lesley.innes@archant.co.uk or phone our newsdesk on 01353 667831.

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