GARDMAN SITE: Don’t waste chance for our village

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An open letter to all it should concern.

As a long-term resident of Moulton, I feel empowered to make my views known. I found Moulton to be a most desirable conservation village, spoilt only by having the equivalent of an industrial site at its heart.

It has many of the essential village amenities – a pub, a church, a surgery and a 
couple of shops, including a post office.

However, the longed-for peace and quiet is regularly disturbed by juggernauts using the B1357 through the village despite there being plenty of alternative routes. Houses shake when one of these monsters goes by!

A neighbour tells me that during the earthquake of February 2008, she thought it was a very long juggernaut passing! Another neighbour has been forced to increase her glazing from double to triple in order to sleep at nights.

In addition, for those who live just outside of the village these ever-larger leviathans prevent access to the village amenities (school, surgery, shops, church and buses) by foot or bicycle without taking life in hand (there is no footpath or lighting).

And the reverse holds true: villagers are prevented from walking or cycling in the countryside.

I do not know how much of this unwelcome traffic was generated by Gardmans (the site began originally as a small local blacksmith) but it must have had some effect.

Since Gardman has closed we have noticed there is much less heavy traffic passing. Nor do I know what plans the owners of the site have, but I do believe everything possible should be done to dissuade both heavy traffic from the 
village and to prevent the re-establishment of an industrial site which should never have been introduced into a conservation village in the first place.

I do think the village will be best served by a residential, rather than a commercial, development of the site.

Google Earth tells me there is room for several houses and this increased population would boost trade to the post office and stores, butcher, fish and chip shop and the local public house.

Moreover, such housing would provide employment to local builders.

It is undeniable that the local authorities have a duty to discover what the population thinks, and to use that knowledge to inform any decisions. In this case the opinions of those residents on the B1357 through Moulton are of especial relevance.

Furthermore, I know that Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire are not alone in implementing traffic policies which seek to protect villages and their inhabitants (especially playing children and the elderly) by dissuading, or indeed banning, heavy lorries from travelling through them.

I urge everyone at parish, district and county council level to find out what the people think before making decisions.

This is a rare chance to make our village even more beautiful; let us not waste it.

James Crosby