Residents fear for village heart

PUBLISHED: 13:54 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

COUNCILLORS in Foxton are up in arms over a planning application to turn a former press site at the heart of the village into housing. The application by P Ridgeon would see the former press building on the Burlington Press site, at Station Road and the H

COUNCILLORS in Foxton are up in arms over a planning application to turn a former press site at the heart of the village into housing. The application by P Ridgeon would see the former press building on the Burlington Press site, at Station Road and the High Street, turned into four terraced houses, one detached, three houses and four affordable flats. Leaflets have been distributed to every household in the village expressing the parish council's concerns and urging residents to have their say on the matter by writing to South Cambridgeshire District Council. The parish council also held open sessions for residents to look at the plans. The full application proposes the demolition of the Station Road factory buildings, apart from the majority of the facade and a two storey office building, which is sublet to another company. In the application, Foxton Parish Council outlined its objections. It said: "The application is for a redevelopment at the heart of the village and if granted, would have a major impact on the structure and nature of the village. It would also have a deleterious effect on traffic and the use of village facilities. "The parish council is aware that this is probably the most important planning application concerning the heart of the village. Whatever ends up on this site will be with us day in and day out for the rest of our, and our children's, lives. "It is in a pivotal part of the village and is a main focal point with the village sign, war memorial and nearby thatched cottages. "From its own deliberations, and taking residents' views into account, the parish council recommends that the planning application be refused." District councillor Deb Roberts said: "This matter will be properly looked at by South Cambridgeshire District Council. The planning committee are coming out to look at the site and I hope that they view it on its merits or not." The district council's conservation manager said in the report: "The existing press buildings are a fine range of 'arts and crafts' buildings, dating from 1908 that make an important contribution to the built environment of Foxton and any alterations will need to be carefully handled. It will also be important to ensure that the demolition will not include any parts of building that are of architectural interest. "Having had the opportunity to inspect the interior of the buildings, I am of the opinion that there is little of architectural interest worthy of retention to the interiors behind the Station Road elevation.

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