Hanley Grange Lives On

PUBLISHED: 12:04 24 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 31 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue to fight against the Hanley Grange eco-town proposal, following this morning's announcement that the project is still going ahead. Jarrow Investments Ltd, the scheme's Tesco-owned instigators

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue to fight against the Hanley Grange eco-town proposal, following this morning’s announcement that the project is still going ahead.

Jarrow Investments Ltd, the scheme’s Tesco-owned instigators, were forced to go back to the drawing board when a major landowner refused them hundreds of acres of land at the site last week. Following a week of investigating the scheme’s viability without the Wellcome Trust’s land, designers have now come up with a new plan – a Hanley Grange-lite.

Project director Nick West said: “Although the Wellcome Trust’s decision is disappointing, the reduced size makes the proposals easier to design and deliver.

“With reduced housing numbers over a smaller site, we can now create an eco-town with sustainable densities that will deliver the environmentally friendly benefits of the original proposal while minimising the effects of the scheme on the surrounding communities.”

Hanley Grange mark two is far smaller than the original plan: the site now takes up 264 hectares where before it occupied more than 375, with an “opportunity area” of an additional 105; now “at least 6500” homes will be built, when previously 12,800 were planned.

Jarrow Investments says the town will help reduce the imbalance between jobs and homes to the south of Cambridge, boost the area’s hi-tech industry and nurture new “eco-industries”. Pioneering water management techniques will also be introduced, which Jarrow Investments hopes will allay environmentalists’ fears that the new settlement will push an already-stretched water supply to breaking point.

Stop Hanley Grange (SHG) representatives reaffirmed their opposition to the scheme. Chairman Julie Redfern said: “We’re very disappointed but not surprised that Tesco is proceeding with this proposal. There is still uncertainty in the Government’s plans, especially following the legal opinion published by the Local Government Association yesterday, so I can see why Tesco won’t pull out until these are clearer.”

And SHG member Brian McCarthy appealed for professional help battling the supermarket giant.

“We don’t have the financial resources of Tesco,” he said, “and we would plead that anyone with relevant technical expertise who might be able to help us – whether planning lawyers, people who understand the water issues, or environmental specialists – or in any other way – can they let us know through our website stophanleygrange.org.uk”

A decision on whether Hanley Grange, located immediately to the east of Hinxton, is put forward to the next stage of the Government’s eco-towns drive will be made later this year.

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