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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 13:33 GMT
Concern over 5,000 homes proposal
Mereham development site
Mereham is to be built on agricultural land near the A10
Concerns over plans for a new town of 5,000 homes in Cambs, which are being looked at by a public inquiry, have been raised in the House of Commons.

Plans for the new community at Mereham, on greenfield land between Stretham and Wilburton, have gone to public inquiry.

South East Cambs MP James Paice raised concerns that the plans would be pushed through against the will of residents.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said: "The decision will be made with integrity and probity."

Ms Blears, in the House of Commons on Wednesday, added: "I can assure the honourable gentleman that all decisions will be made properly, in accordance with all the local plans and the most up-to-date planning rules."

Stop expansion call

Meanwhile developers have said they will include a wildlife haven in the project to prevent further expansion.

Campaigners against the project include residents and Cambridgeshire councils who claim there is no provision for infrastructure.

They argue the scheme will create traffic hazards but developers say they have taken this into account.

Professor Max Wade, an ecologist working for developer Multiplex Stannifer, said a wetland at Mereham would be a haven for wildlife.

"The 200 hectare wetland will help preserve wildlife like water voles, reed buntings and reptiles," he said.

"It's hoped the open spaces will also stop Mereham expanding and merging with other nearby villages."

Inquiry opens into new homes plan
09 Oct 07 |  Cambridgeshire
Plans for 5,000 homes challenged
15 Aug 07 |  Cambridgeshire

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