Election 2015 England

Concerns over Great Haddon development plans

Great Haddon development site Image copyright Google
Image caption More than 5,000 homes are planned for Great Haddon, near the village of Yaxley

Concerns over infrastructure shortfalls linked to plans for thousands of homes in Cambridgeshire have been raised by election candidates.

More than 5,000 homes are planned for Great Haddon, near the village of Yaxley - which is in the constituency of North West Cambridgeshire.

The plans have also earmarked nearby areas for generating employment.

Five of the candidates for the seat appeared on BBC Cambridgeshire's Big Conversation with Paul Stainton.

Image caption The prospective parliamentary candidates for North West Cambridgeshire met for a debate on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The plans for Great Haddon, which also includes three primary schools and one secondary school, were given planning permission in March 2013 but building work is yet to start.

Concerns about the plans were raised in the radio debate from a listener from Yaxley.

Conservative candidate, Shailesh Vara, who was elected MP for the constituency in 2005, said he had met with the local council, local residents and developers to discuss the plans for Great Haddon.

"I have been working very hard to ensure the infrastructure is in place. It is also critical there are jobs being created in the area," he said.

Labour candidate Nick Thulbourn said: "My three simple rules on any development are: Is there a consensus to do it? Can it be done? And do we have the money to do it? None of this is ever considered as the Conservatives feel they can do whatever they want on the ground.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Great Haddon site lies next to the A1 near Peterborough

"There are significant concerns. It will put pressures on the NHS."

Nicholas Sandford, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said: "We should not just develop land for the sake of development, any plans need to be sustainable.

"Our local authority has been obsessed with building as many homes as possible."

Peter Reeve, the UKIP candidate, said: "The problem with the government is they are not standing up for us, the people. They are putting developers in the forefront of everything.

"As a UKIP MP, I promise to put people back in control of the planning process."

Nicola Day, the Green Party candidate, said in the past there had been too many developments where "residents did not have the services they were promised".

"We do not want to see new development without proper infrastructure. We will put local needs first."

Candidate Fay Belham, who represents the Christian Peoples Alliance, did not take part in the debate.

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