Eye Village UnderĀ Attack Yet Again

07:19 Thursday 8th December 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: We brought you the news last year that Eye was one of the places earmarked for major development. The City Council recommended 85 more homes to be built there. But now an independent report has said that Eye could do with not 85 but 160 new homes. The news has been met with criticism from some residents. Dale McKean is one of those residents. Morning Dale.
DALE MCKEAN: Good morning Paul.
PAUL STAINTON: What are you so worried about? You’ve got all that land around Eye. We could put plenty of homes around there. It would be lovely.
DALE MCKEAN: Eye has already got 5,000 residents. It’s the second largest village in Cambridgeshire. And it’s had so much growth in the last three years, it’s already done it’s bit for the growth for Peterborough. The villagers are absolutely astounded that after 831 individuals wrote to the Inspector against any more growth on 22nd November, he has now decided to add in more houses. This would mean the total number of houses in Eye, including those built in the last three years, would be at least 610. That’s fifteen times more homes than the villagers stated they wanted in a City Council survey in April 2008.
PAUL STAINTON: Why is it such a problem though? Because it is a pretty open area, isn’t it? Is it just because you want to keep the village feel, and you want to keep a community as it is? You’re against turning into a Werrington, effectively.
DALE MCKEAN: It is exactly that. It is a village. It’s very sustainable. It’s got all the things it needs. But what it does not need is more houses to become a township. Since last year, when the Council reduced the number of houses to 85, and an industrial site as well, Eye residents have objected four times. They even put a petition of 886 signatures into the Council last December. So the Council and the Inspector are absolutely ignoring what the residents have been saying again and again and again. And this is the ninth time we’ve gone to consultation on this.
PAUL STAINTON: Let’s cross to our reporter Johnny D., who’s in Eye this morning. Morning Johnnie. (OB)
JOHNNIE D.: Good morning Paul. Yes, I’m in a nice front room here of a house. And outside of course it’s an estate, with terraces and semi-detached houses, fairly new houses I must say. And there’s a nice green outside with a mighty oak standing proudly in the corner. I’ve got with me Keith Halliday, who lives here, and is very worried about this area can’t cope with the development. You feel quite strongly about this Keith. Why?
KEITH HALLIDAY: Well because we’ve already had more houses than the village can cope with. The school is at or near capacity. The medical centre is pretty well used, and can’t cope with many more people. I just wonder where the kids are going to go for education and medical facilities.
JOHNNIE D.: This house seems quite new to me. How long have you been here? How long has the house been here?
KEITH HALLIDAY: The house has been here since 1989.
JOHNNIE D.: How long have you been here Keith?
KEITH HALLIDAY: Twelve years.
JOHNNIE D.: People obviously before this was built said oh don’t build these houses, and you’re here living here now. So it’s only the same for these new people, isn’t it?
KEITH HALLIDAY: No, not necessarily. This house was on a building site. It was a commercial development before, so houses were better than what was here before.
JOHNNIE D.: And how far are you from the city of Peterborough, from here?
KEITH HALLIDAY: About four miles from the city centre.
JOHNNIE D.: And do you think this is a suburb of Peterborough, this Eye?
KEITH HALLIDAY: No. It’s a village. And it has a village atmosphere. The people are very friendly. They’re very supportive. They’re very helpful of each other.
JOHNNIE D.: If the Council say they’re going to invest more money, and develop this infrastructure, would you be happy then Keith?
KEITH HALLIDAY: I’d certainly be happy to have better infrastructure. We certainly need that. It depends on what they want to do, where they want to put it. But the village needs to retain its village atmosphere, and coincide with the villagers’ wishes.
JOHNNIE D.: We’ll keep an eye on this situation. Very interesting. (STUDIO)
PAUL STAINTON: Thank you for that Johnnie. Johnnie with Keith in Eye, live this morning. Dale, just finally before we finish talking about it, we’ve got problems with traffic, keeping the village feel. But there’ll be people listening to this this morning saying, we need houses Dale. We need to build. 5,000 people on the housing waiting list.
DALE MCKEAN: Yes. And there’s villages all around Peterborough that need housing. They’re too small to sustain themselves. And the Inspector should declare this plan unsound, and distribute those 160 houses around those villages. What we now need is the Government to intervene in this fiasco, for this ninth consultation exercise, and step in and sort this matter out.
PAUL STAINTON: Where will you go if this goes ahead? What will you do?
DALE MCKEAN: Well we’re now getting everybody to write in again, for the ninth time, to object to the Inspector. So we will just have to see whether he listens to us for a second time, when everybody’s written in by the 12th January.
PAUL STAINTON: Interesting times Dale. Thank you for that. Keith Halliday with Johnnie D. in Eye, and Dale McKean who lives in Eye as well.