Azara Blog: More excuses given why Hanley Grange should not be built

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Date published: 2008/06/07

The BBC says:

A proposed eco-town would actually be a "Tesco town" and could harm Cambridge's water supply.

That's the message from South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC), which has declared it will fight hard against a possible 11,000-home eco-town at Hanley Grange, near Hinxton, claiming the town will be far from sustainable or green.

Cllr David Bard, the council's portfolio holder for new communities, told the News: "We have concerns about Tesco's involvement with this development. Not only because it will have effects on shopping outlets in neighbouring villages, but we have experience that if you put in a large supermarket early, it completely sterilises the town."
SCDC fears building on the Hanley Grange site, which it says includes an important bore hole, could lessen water supplies for Cambridge.

The middle class vilification of Hanley Grange continues. It would be interesting to hear what "experience" Bard is talking about, "that if you put in a large supermarket early, it completely sterilises the town." Is he talking about Bar Hill? Bar Hill is a rather horrid town but the Tesco there is one of its few saving graces. The real problem with Bar Hill (which will also be the real problem with Hanley Grange, and with Northstowe, and with all these proposed new towns) is that thousands of homes are dumped in a field in the middle of nowhere within a very short timespan, so there is dreadful similarity of design and no natural reason for the town to exist other than as a dormitory town (in Bar Hill's and Northstowe's case mainly for Cambridge, in Hanley Grange's case mainly for London). The British are just plain dreadful at urban design, mainly because the people who influence the design have no interest in what's best for the people who will live in the new development, but instead are just swayed by their own academic middle class prejudices. The SCDC itself is part of the problem, it is not part of the solution.

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