Greater Huntingdon…

The population of Cambridgeshire is growing1 and there’s plenty of demand for further growth2, but developing new places for people to live, work and play in Cambridgeshire is tricky. Cambridge itself is surrounded by green belt that few seem willing to sacrifice, despite much of it being described as dull and featureless.3 There’s lots of development around Peterborough, but it cannot be expected to handle all of the population growth. A few new towns are being developed (Cambourne and Northstowe), but these are not well suited to grow beyond a certain size.4

Notably, Cambridgeshire is curious in that it has two small-ish cities but does not yet have any large towns like Wellingborough, Corby and Kettering in neighbouring Northamptonshire. Many of the bigger towns to the east of the county (March, Wisbech and the city of Ely) are surrounded by flat, low-lying land that’s at risk of flooding by both river and, in the longer term, sea. On this basis5, I would suggest that these towns should not be top of the list for future growth. However, the bigger towns in the west of Cambridgeshire are better suited to handling significant growth and providing Cambridgeshire with some large towns: Huntingdon and St Neots.

Continue reading

  1. There are a variety of good reasons for this, such as great employment opportunities in Cambridge itself and the Metropolitan Green Belt covering much of the land between Cambridgeshire and London. []
  2. The house price to wage ratio in the county is currently the highest in the country. []
  3. I recall reading a news article where a developer used words to this effect several years ago in Cambridge News. Unfortunately their website does not keep articles around for very long (for example, the Cambridge Automated Metro article has disappeared), so I can’t provide a reference. However, it’s not difficult to see their point, even if you disagree with their implication that the green belt should therefore not be kept. []
  4. For example, there are reasons there weren’t towns in those locations in the first place, though that doesn’t mean that further growth is impossible. []
  5. There are other reasons to discount these towns too, such as poor transport links. []

Radio Garden…

Radio Garden is an interesting website I came across a while ago that allows the exploration of radio around the globe with ease. While it does have sections on History, Jingles and Stories, the most interesting feature is the ability to browse radio stations geographically and listen to them live. The website seems very well put together, working smoothly across a range of devices, making it useful for general purpose browsing and playing if your favourite stations are geographically spread.

Continue reading

Listen to Huntingdonshire…

Huntingdon Community Radio is a useful radio station to listen to when using the soon to be upgraded section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon (though the signal is a bit weak beyond Bar Hill). As well as playing one of the best ranges of music that I’ve heard on radio, it provides detailed information on the roads and rails around Huntingdon. However, until recently, I was puzzled by a daily occurrence on the radio station that was never announced nor acknowledged.

Continue reading