Lib Dem Ian Sollom condemns proposal for huge new town in the South Cambridgeshire countryside

Ian Sollom, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for South Cambridgeshire, said:

"I and all the residents of South Cambridgeshire are shocked to discover that a major property developer has spent the last two years putting together a plan for an enormous new town in our countryside. That the developer seems to have attempted to get the support of central government rather than going through the council’s Local Plan process is an insult to local communities and local democratic scrutiny.

"The proposed town will do terrible environmental damage to the countryside. Covering an area nearly the size of Cambridge and with poor transport links, the town will fail to meet the government’s own climate change targets. It will be impossible to mitigate the ecological damage to the Cam valley and its precious chalk streams. The developer’s claims about sustainability are hollow.

"This proposal is not the solution to our housing crisis and I will be campaigning to stop it going ahead. I urge the developer to withdraw the proposal immediately and end the blight that dozens of villages will suffer until it is defeated.

"The Conservative Party has accepted over £400,000 in donations from Thakeham, the property company behind this proposal. Coming in the wake of the scandal involving donations from Richard Desmond to the Tory party shortly after the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick decided a major planning application in his favour, this news seriously undermines confidence in this government’s approach to planning and development.

"I call on our MP, Anthony Browne, to join me in demanding that the Conservative Party return Thakeham’s donations. Our residents need to know that decisions about the future of our area are not tainted by suspicions of financial links between those who make the decisions and the property companies that stand to make a fortune.

"We still have no clarity from the government on the Development Company for Cambridge announced in the Budget. The government seems to be keeping its own MP in the dark on significant developments in our area. Does Anthony Browne know what is going on? Are Thakeham’s proposals the Development Company vehicle? Residents of South Cambs need to be treated better by the government on this."

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