Cambridge Airport will not move into Waterbeach Barracks
13:07 21 July 2011
CAMBRIDGE’S Airport is to stay put amid suggestions it could relocate to the closing Waterbeach Barracks.
The county is still in shock after the announcement the barracks at Waterbeach will close.
But a claim from Waterbeach councillor Michael Williamson that Cambridge Airport could move to the area to free up housing space in the city has been dismissed by Marshall Aerospace, the airport owners.
Terry Holloway, of the Marshall Group, said the company position is “very clear” and “we are remaining on our present site”.
He added: “As an aside Waterbeach was included in the [proposed relocation] studies and dismissed. Nothing has changed, and there is no intention to ‘open this box again’!”
Labour councillors from the city have also rounded on Cllr Williamson arguing the Cambridge Airport space is not suitable for housing developments.
In a joint statement, councillors Lewis Herbert and Tariq Sadiq said the airport in Newmarket Road was “locationally-defective” and would not be able to support any major developments.
It is also said any move would rule out further development to the Waterbeach site.
The statement read: “There is an urgent need to identify additional viable and sustainable Cambridge area housing sites that are well served by quality transport infrastructure like rail access.
“Over 12,000 households are on the housing needs registers of Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire and they and others desperately need affordable places to rent or buy locally, near their families and work.”
The Labour councillors called for cross-party action to ensure a “Plan B to tackle the growing Cambridge housing crisis” is worked out.
Cllr Williamson said any development at the airport would be closer to jobs in Cambridge and the barracks site is unsuitable for housing development.
He said: “I think it would be less unpleasant than developing the Waterbeach site. Now that the situation has changed the opportunity for the airport to move should be looked at again.”
Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced the barrack closure on Tuesday with the land likely to be sold off for housing. Some 950 military personnel will have to relocate.