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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009
Locals divided on Alconbury sale
Alconbury airfield
The airfield purchase could kill off plans for a rail freight terminal

It was revealed in early November that Alconbury airfield had been sold to a real estate company for £27.5m.

Urban&Civic, established by Nigel Hugill and Robin Butler, has made the land its first investment.

The future use of the 1,100 acre space has yet to be confirmed with the company stating it is working out how to split housing and business projects.

Previous options included a housing development that would eventually shadow the population of Huntingdon.

The uncertain future of the plot, bought from Alconbury Developments Limited, could mean good news or bad news for the area, depending on who you are.

Extra work

Alan Howatt, a mechanic near the site, is keen for new companies to move in and reckons his custom could double.

He told BBC Cambridgeshire: "I think personally we'd benefit quite a lot, especially if there's new businesses on Alconbury airfield.

"It would bring a lot of custom to us, there's a lot of people here who want to drop their cars off and have them repaired.

"If we did have lots of extra work obviously we would be doing something and earning a lot more money."

Jay Adams, who runs the Three Horseshoes pub in Great Stukeley, is also buoyed by the future possibilities.

"From the pub point of view I would obviously prefer the housing because of the business it would generate here," he said.

However Jay admits he does have concerns about the identity of the villages surrounding the airfield, a standpoint shared by some of his pub's regulars.

"I also don't want to lose the rural side we've got here and just have an extension of the town centre itself.

"There's mixed views among the regulars. I was ear-wigging a conversation the other day.

"One was saying the same as me about not wanting to extend the town. Another said it's great to have all that kind of stuff because it brings money in for local businesses."

Cope with traffic

Local families have expressed concerns that a new development would put pressure on the area's roads and infrastructure.

The main entrance to the airfield sits just two miles away from the junction of the A1 and A14.

One local resident said: "I'm quite concerned about how the smaller villages would cope with an increase in traffic that you're ultimately going to get."

Huntingdonshire District Council is holding discussions with the land's new owners as well as the East of England Regional Assembly to decide upon the best strategy for the area north of Huntingdon.

RAF Alconbury, separate to the airfield, will continue in its normal capacity as a non-flying facility for the American Air Force.




SEE ALSO
Alconbury airport plan ruled out
16 Dec 03 |  Cambridgeshire
Go-ahead for Alconbury depot
11 Dec 03 |  Cambridgeshire
Alconbury plans put on show
03 Oct 02 |  England


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