Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Forum Set Up To Help Businesses And Residents Work Together In Meldreth

Cllr Susan van de Ven
A community liaison group in Meldreth has been set up to help local businesses and residents work together to discuss and resolve any issues around commercial activities in the station area.

At a public meeting on Thursday (22 August) to discuss noise generated from Eden Farm Ltd’s food distribution centre in Station Yard, company bosses, South Cambridgeshire District Council representatives, local councillors and residents agreed to set up the regular forum.

The forum is expected to help the parties discuss planning and environmental health issues – especially noise and traffic – and agree voluntary action to make sure the business continues to be a valued part of the community.

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for business, said: “This forum is an excellent way for local firms and residents to discuss any upcoming proposals or tackle issues that have come up collectively. It is really positive that Eden Farm is taking this voluntary action and shows how much they value their role in the community. As a Council we are fully behind supporting businesses but we also want to make sure they listen to the needs and concerns of local people.”

Cllr Susan van de Ven, local member for Meldreth on South Cambridgeshire District Council who initiated the group, said: “I’m very pleased we have been able to establish this forum and hope it will be as successful as the model they’ve used in Barrington, where a group of residents and councillors worked with Cemex to minimise disruption caused by the works at the quarry. This is a chance for Eden Farm to run their business in a community-minded way. There have been some encouraging signs and I hope we will see significant improvements in the coming weeks.

“South Cambridgeshire District Council’s officers have provided excellent support and in the long run it saves everyone time and trouble if we can sort problems out together.”

Jim Palmer from Eden Farm Ltd, said: “We have attended both the liaison group and several other meetings with neighbours, councillors and planners over recent weeks. We realise that a problem which has existed for several years, prior to our take over last year, needs our active involvement to remedy wherever possible. Whilst we have no magic wand to give an instant solution we are actively exploring the best way forward and seek only to live and let live with our neighbours. It should be added that we have received a lot of encouragement and advice from South Cambridgeshire District Council as well as several villagers. One major step is to have full mains electricity installed to eliminate the round the clock use of a standby generator and we are promised this will be coupled up within the next two weeks."

The next meeting is expected to be held in a month’s time, and then the forum is likely to be held about twice a year.