Reveal The Reality

How does the SGV proposal compare against the Government criteria for a Garden Village?
(criteria set out by the Department for Communities’ and Local Government in March 2016)

“Have the backing of Local Authorities”

and the Local Communities should be “engaged at an early stage” and there should be “Strategies for community involvement to help ensure local support”.

The Reality

The Local Authority has made it clear that it is not leading the project; the County Council has stated that it is not supporting the proposal; the local MP has stated that he opposes the proposal; and very importantly, the local communities are unanimously and totally opposed to the proposal.

Show “evidence on local consultation”

Demonstrate that the local community has been involved and consulted on the planned development.

The Reality

The proposal was conceived and planned entirely by the developers, and is purely a speculative venture benefitting only the developers and the landowner. Prior to submitting the proposal, the developers did not consult with the County Council, nor with Parish Councils [despite claiming that they had], nor with local people. The proposal came as a complete surprise to the local people and their representatives.

“Self Sustaining”

Be “New communities that work as self-sustaining places, not dormitory suburbs'.

The Reality

With 5,900 people, and employment potential only in a proposed village high street, and a small workshop area allocation, it is inevitable that this will be a commuter/dormitory suburb, not a self-sustaining, self-contained, village.

Be put forward by “Local Areas”

Be put forward by “Local Areas who want to create garden communities on a smaller scale.

The Reality

The Local Authority has made it clear that it does not lead this proposal; nor are Garden Villages part of the Local Authority’s published planning documents.

NOT be places which “merely use “garden “as a convenient label”

The Reality

The planned density of the 2500 terraced, semi detached and detached properties, mostly two storied houses is considerable – around 13 houses per acre of planned building land. 1,000 of these houses are planned to be ‘Affordable Housing’. These indications are hard to reconcile with the implied spacing and image of a ‘garden’village.


Be “attractive, well designed places with local support.”

The Reality

No design plans have yet been put forward – but we note the developers indicate that there will be a variety of styles, some being ‘kit’ types and with provision for ‘self build’, and with 1000 houses being “affordable”. This would be unlikely to produce a ‘village’ which would be in keeping with the local ancient villages. And there is absolutely no local support for this project.

"New and discrete."

Be “new, discrete settlements, and not an extension of an existing town or village.”

The Reality

The proposal for this enormous 300 acre, 2500 house “Village” is to place it right between two conservation villages, and almost touching one of these. This number of dwellings is higher than all five nearby villages put together, and is eight and a half times larger than the biggest of those five villages. This is no “new, discrete settlement”, set clear of existing settlements – it is an town pushed in amongst ancient, tranquil, villages, and is certain to overwhelm them.

"Show growth potential"

Be able to show strong growth potential over the medium to long term

The Reality

This underlines the disruptive and destructive nature of this proposal. Clearly the Government expects further growth of a Garden Village, presumably to come up to the Government plans for “Garden Towns and Cities “ of more than 10,000 homes. 
This Sibson Garden Village proposal, situated in the midst of five ancient villages, can only expand futher by swallowing up one or all of these villages, and ruining the Nene Valley environment [a protected area].

"Needed locally"

It is important that new garden villages are built as a response to meeting housing needs locally.

The Reality

Huntingdonshire is already planning 21,000 new houses, meeting in full the Government requests for new homes increases in the local authority area.. There is therefore no demonstrated need for even more houses in the local authority area. The response of the local communities makes it crystal clear that there is complete opposition to this new, speculative, disproportionate proposal for a new township at Sibson.

“Infrastructure needs (e.g. roads) are clearly assessed and met as part of any proposal”

The Reality

Existing congestion and road designs are already crumbling under daily pressures. It is impossible to add up to 10,000 extra vehicle movements per day from SGV without total chaos, and damage to the communities and the environment. Nor can local facilities handle 5,900 extra people. 
Infrastructure matters are mentioned in the SGV proposal simply as issues which will easily be solved, without addressing the reality of actually solving them.

“Local Authorities Commitment”

Have “local authorities who are prepared to commit to delivery of housing through the creation of new garden villages”.

The Reality

The Local Authority, Huntingdonshire District Council, has already stated that it is not leading this proposal, and is not committed to any outcome. So this requirement is not met.

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