Hanley Grange Dealt Devastating Blow

PUBLISHED: 17:06 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 31 May 2010

LANDOWNER and charity The Wellcome Trust may have dealt a fatal blow to the Hanley Grange eco-town proposal. The Trust announced this afternoon it will not allow its land to be used for the Hanley Grange development, effectively scuppering the project. Ch

LANDOWNER and charity The Wellcome Trust may have dealt a fatal blow to the Hanley Grange eco-town proposal.

The Trust announced this afternoon it will not allow its land to be used for the Hanley Grange development, effectively scuppering the project.

Charity The Wellcome Trust owns 270 acres of land at Hinxton, which would be essential to the eco-town proposed by Tesco-affiliated company Jarrow Investments. By choosing not to take part in the Hanley Grange project, the charity has drastically compromised Jarrow's plans.

A spokesman for the charity said: "The Wellcome Trust was approached by Jarrow Investments to consider becoming a partner in the Hanley Grange eco-town submission. The Trust has given very careful consideration to the approach and has decided not to proceed with this proposal."

Sebastian Hanley, speaking on behalf of Jarrow Investments, said: "Although I have not yet had official notice of this, The Wellcome Trust's decision would mean we would have to reassess the whole proposal.

"The plans drawn up so far take into consideration the land owned by The Wellcome Trust - roughly a third of the total site. We haven't yet looked at the possibility of a town without The Wellcome Trust's land, so we will have to investigate that and see if the project is still at all viable."

Sir Alan Haselhurst, one of four MPs who wrote a letter to senior members of The Wellcome Trust imploring them not to allow their land to be used for the town, was delighted by the announcement.

He said: "I couldn't be more pleased with The Wellcome Trust's decision not to co-operate with the Hanley Grange proposal.

"I only hope that this decision does not make the housing minister more interested in the proposed eco-town at Elsenham. I am, of course, opposed to both developments and I wouldn't want the spotlight to now fall on Elsenham."

The news is sure to come as a great relief to the thousands of people who have registered their opposition to Hanley Grange by signing petitions and displaying the logos of the popular "Stop Hanley Grange" campaign.

It comes shortly after Jarrow Investments revealed that the total number of houses in the development had leapt from an original 8000 to almost 13,000. The move infuriated the scheme's opponents, who persuaded the Government to allow a new 13-week consultation period at the end of the month.

Following The Wellcome Trust's decision not to work with Jarrow Investments, the entire project will now have to be completely reconsidered.

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