Apparently not. In 2008 there was a proposal to build a new town of 8,000-11,000 homes near to Hinxton and bounded by the A11, A505 and A1301. The proposal was called “Hanley grange.” It was eventually thrown out by the planning inspector.
The promoters of the development assumed that it would be welcomed by the neighbouring science parks but the opposite was the case. Research conducted by Cambridge Healthcare & Biotech polled the opinion of the science parks close to the site and far from welcoming the new housing all the respondents saw serious negative implications for their business, especially the traffic.
While North Uttlesford Garden Community at 5,000 dwellings is smaller than Hanley Grange, the traffic implications when combined with area traffic growth in the past 10 years, will be just as damaging.
This was the conclusion of the research:
1. Lack of housing is not an issue for any of the companies based at the major employment sites around Hanley Grange. It has certainly had no impact on the growth of jobs at these sites.
2. A small proportion of the staff at the major employment sites would want to live nearby in new housing.
3. None of the companies that responded to the survey believed that a major new housing development would have a positive impact on their business overall. In fact, most thought it would be harmful.
4. Every respondent believed the resulting traffic congestion would compromise access to their business location. This was by far the major concern expressed by the respondents.
5. All respondents believed that a major housing conurbation adjacent to their business would make their location less attractive. Many have deliberately chosen their current location because of its rural nature. None believed that a sizeable housing development would help in their efforts to attract high calibre staff. Many believed that it will hinder their efforts.
6. Although most respondents felt that new housing was inevitable many suggested that it might cause them to move out of the area. Two of the companies responding said they would move overseas.