Thursday, April 1, 2010

Victory for Conservatives' Marshalls Campaign

Another key piece in the Labour Government's warped vision for Cambridge appears to have collapsed today, as Marshall's announced it had ruled out all the remaining options for relocating its aerospace business and was effectively staying put. Although Marshalls do keep their options open, saying:

"it is clear that relocation is not a feasible option at this time, but we do not rule out the possibility that circumstances may change again in the future, in which case we would be prepared to reconsider it."

their announcement today does sound like a very significant announcement that should put a stop to all planning for thousands of homes on the airport site. It is also a humiliation for the Lib Dems running Cambridge City, who have been the main voice in favour of airport redevelopment, and all the transport chaos that would inevitably result in east Cambridge wards like Coleridge.

As much as local Labour politicians may claim to support Marshall's, they also support the cause of the threat - Labour's top down housing targets that force our local Councils to come up with plans like building on Marshalls. It is a humiliation for Labour's plan for Cambridge - thousands of bland properties (yuppie flats and social housing is all the current system can manage), dumped in areas regardless of whether local residents want them there, or if the transport can cope. The other part of Labour's plan - to force congestion charging onto Cambridge instead of building proper transport networks disappeared last month as the 'Transport Investment Fund' process to bid for transport funds disappeared, along with its mandatory congestion charging so controversially supported by our local Labour Councillor.

We could be on the verge of a new Conservative government who have promised to sweep away Labour's top down planning system, that has utterly failed to deliver the quality new housing and transport we need. Coleridge Conservatives have for some time been urging all local parties to take on board the Conservative plans for housing and planning, and start the change of mindset that will be required from nanny government knows best on housing regardless of local opposition, to giving local residents genuine local choice, and start encouraging schemes for the new family housing we desperately need that can attract the support of local people, i.e.a high quality built environment, good quality open spaces, excellent transport links and genuinely sustainable communities.


Frugal Dougal said...

Brilliant - well done!

Equinox said...

Me Again.

It's all very well complaining about "Top Down" housing targets, but how would a Conservative administration deal with the cumulative impact of lots of local areas saying "We don't want new developments in our area" at the same time as trying to manage the problem of excess demand over supply?

Will a Conservative administration look at the breakdown of housing demand?
1) How much comes from first time buyers?
2) How much comes from UK resident second home owners?
3) How much comes from non-resident home owners (e.g. people who have an apartment in Cambridge/London etc who use them week per year?)
4) How much comes from property speculators who buy up properties, keep them empty for a year and sell them on at a profit?

Or is this something that will be left "to the market"?

I take the point about ensuring that we have a local balance between jobs and housing, but having places like the Belvedere near the station (I FOI'd the local authority a few years ago and they confirmed no discussions took place between the developer, the council and the rail companies to ensure there was sufficient capacity on the trains to cope with the extra demand created by such developments) does nothing to help things.

Oh, by the way, when are we going to get the Oxford-Cambridge rail link? Nick's good friends with David Willets who is good friends with DaveCam. Will a Conservative administration back the proposal at and even provide funding for it? A rail link between Bedford and Cambridge might even take lots of traffic off the roads leading out of Cambridge westwards.

Interested Resident said...

So you have done it again all on your very own!
Well well!
Best wishes from a surprised Coleridge resident!