Press Release: Launch of WeAreResidents.org campaign to oppose Uttlesford District Council housing proposals

Uttlesford residents urged to respond to UDC housing plan

Saffron Walden, 3rd July 2012: The Saffron Walden-based WeAreResidents.org group announces the launch of its campaign to oppose Uttlesford District Council’s new proposals to force large housing developments on Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow, Newport, Elsenham and Takeley. The campaign follows Saffron Walden Town Council’s strongly expressed opposition to the proposals, and the establishment of the Save Newport Village group to oppose UDC’s proposals.

Under UDC’s proposals:

  • 1,150 new homes would be built in Great Dunmow, 880 in Saffron Walden, 400 in Elsenham, 375 in Newport and 200 in Takeley, in addition to smaller amounts elsewhere and 2,400 houses across the district that are already approved but not yet built.
  • Saffron Walden will grow by 20%. Critically, in excess of 800 new homes would be built in the south-east of the town. This is in addition to the over 400 already approved but not yet built.   Cars from these new homes will need to drive through Saffron Walden to reach the M11, Cambridge, Bishops Stortford, Audley End station and other places of work. Many areas of the town are already congested and air quality breaches legal limits.
  • No major road investment is planned outside this new estate, so the Peaslands Road, Borough Lane, Castle Street, High Street and London Road areas will just become grid-locked; and side streets such as Victoria Avenue, Cromwell Road and Rowntree Way will become rat-runs.
  • In Newport, existing residents will be swamped by 50% house growth that will destroy the fabric and character of their village.  And there are similar issues across most other major settlements in the district.

WeAreResidents.org spokesman, Dan Starr, said: “There is a need for housing in the district, but UDC’s new plan is flawed, completely unsuitable for Uttlesford; and is contradicted by all of the evidence produced by UDC over the last 5 years.

Since 2007 UDC has consistently shown that a new town is the best option, and that any new large scale developments in existing towns and villages would be unsustainable with too much impact.  But this is exactly what is now being proposed.  As recently as December 2011, UDC published another report that reconfirmed the new-town approach. It favoured a location at Stumps Cross due to better access to job markets and transport links.

Not only is a new town the most sustainable solution for right now, but it can be designed to expand for future housing needs.

The WeAreResidents.org campaign calls on UDC to drop these damaging new proposals and recognise that all of their evidence shows that the best solution is a new settlement, with appropriate, smaller scale, development in the other towns and villages. The campaign also urges all residents of the district to act now and tell UDC what they think of their plan.”

With the launch of their campaign, WeAreResidents.org has published:

WeAreResidents.org urges all Uttlesford residents oppose the plan and say no to building in existing settlements. Public consultation on the Uttlesford Local Plan closes on 23 July 2012. Uttlesford residents can find out how to submit feedback to UDC on the WeAreResidents.org website.

About WeAreResidents.org

Founded in 2011, WeAreResidents.org is the Uttlesford based group that provides a strong, independent voice for the views of local residents. The group campaigns for long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area. WeAreResidents.org works with other similar groups across Uttlesford and enjoys the strong support of professionals in key and relevant professions.

WeAreResidents.org is one of the residents’ groups that help start Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local political party of towns and a village that is seeking to give residents a stronger say in local matters.

WeAreResidents.org can we found on the web at www.WeAreResidents.org.

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Posted in Consultation, Planning, Pollution and Air Quality, Press Releases, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
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