Campaigners against eco-town set up fighting website

AN ECO-town at Elsenham would be considered bad news by many people in the area, but an additional one planned for Hinxton could affect them even more. The Hanley Grange site on the Government s shortlist is both nearer to Saffron Walden, and larger, tha

AN ECO-town at Elsenham would be considered bad news by many people in the area, but an additional one planned for Hinxton could affect them even more.

The Hanley Grange site on the Government's shortlist is both

nearer to Saffron Walden, and larger, than the eco-town being considered for Elsenham.

The site, where 8000 homes could be built, is made up of 500 hectares of land located in the triangle formed by the A11, A505 and A1301, to the east of Hinxton and the south of Pampisford.


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Opponents of the scheme have wasted no time in setting up a website - www.stophanleygrange.org.uk - to provide a campaign resource and an opportunity to sign an online petition.

Cambridgeshire County Cllr Tim Stone, who represents nearby Duxford, has been closely involved.

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"We've been looking at the way the people against the eco-town at Elsenham have been operating and modelling our website on theirs," he said. "Opposition to Hanley Grange is universal - the county, district and parish councils are all speaking out against it.

"I'm organising a joint committee and have contacted 11 parish councils in the area to ask if they would like to get involved. It's interesting to note that these villages combined still have a smaller population than Hanley Grange would."

The land at Hanley Grange is mostly owned by Jarrow Investments, a company that has been attempting to get a development approved there for several years. The invitation for eco-town plans provided it with a fresh opportunity.

Bob Sellwood, from the project's planning consultants, Sellwood Planning, reassured residents that they would be closely involved with the planning process.

"Any plans that are now advanced will be done so in close consultation with local people to ensure the project is fully integrated with the surrounding communities," he said.

But Cllr Stone feels people are unlikely to be convinced: "Ordinary people are resolutely against this, but they despair of consultation and believe that what they say won't make any difference," he said.

Detailed plans for Hanley Grange are sketchy, but Jarrow Investments has said up to half of the 8000 homes could be affordable housing, to help accommodate the 10,000 households in the area on the waiting list.

A large Tesco store is likely to be incorporated into the plans, as Jarrow Investments holds some of the land on the supermarket company's behalf.

l FOR details of how to submit your comments to the plans log onto www.saffronwaldenreporter24.co.uk

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