Press Release: Residents take responsibility for their own neighbourhoods as opposition to Uttlesford housing plan snowballs

Residents urged to respond to UDC housing plan before 23rd July deadline

16th July 2012: Last week, WeAreResidents.org launched their neighbourhood campaign in Saffron Walden to oppose UDC’s proposals to site at least 880 new homes on the east of Saffron Walden. Since then opposition to UDC proposals have snow-balled with many residents across the town taking action. With only a few days of public consultation for the proposals left, the remaining residents are urged to tell UDC what they think of their plan.

In the last week, 44 street and neighbourhood groups across Saffron Walden have formally joined the WeAreResidents.org campaign to represent their areas. These groups have begun distributing 1,000s of letters of opposition to be signed by their neighbours. If residents have received a letter, they are urged to sign, complete and return it to their neighbourhood co-ordinator as soon as possible.  If they haven’t yet received a letter, they are requested to contact udcplan@weareresidents.org.

The Mayor of Saffron Walden and the majority of Saffron Walden Town Council members are against UDC’s plan. On Wednesday 11th July, at a confrontational Saffron Walden Town Council meeting, only one town councillor, Cllr Jim Ketteridge, voiced his support for the UDC strategy. Councillor Jim Ketteridge is also an Uttlesford District Councillor. As Leader of Uttlesford District Council, he was one of the UDC councillors that approved the proposal for over 880 new homes on the town’s east.

Saturday saw WeAreResidents.org campaigners in Saffron Walden Market Square showing maps of where traffic-gridlock will likely occur due to the new development. They received huge support from the public, with letters of opposition being signed at a rate of over 100 per hour. WeAreResidents.org will also be in the market square this upcoming Saturday, giving residents one last chance to oppose the proposals before consultation closes on Monday.

Eryl Stafford, co-ordinating the WeAreResidents.org neighbourhood campaign, said: “Saffron Walden is finally making its voice heard.  The more one reads about it, the more ridiculous UDC’s new plan is.  Unless UDC are telling us that all of the evidence they have gathered over the last 5 years – at taxpayers’ expense – has been completely wasted, there is nothing to justify the U-turn they are trying to perform. 880 new homes to the east of Saffron Walden is the least sustainable and worst possible option; it will create gridlock, traffic chaos and pollution that will destroy our town”.

“Saffron Walden needs to make sure that its views are properly considered, and so local residents must take action now and oppose these seriously flawed proposals. And that includes residents from Newport, Quendon and Stansted that will see 1,000s of new cars driving through their communities as they head to the M11 at Bishops Stortford”.

“There are only a few more days before public consultation closes, at 5.00pm on 23 July.  We urge you to tell UDC ‘no to building in existing settlements’ and ‘no to over 880 new homes to the east of Saffron Walden’. Telling UDC what you think of their plan is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. Residents can do this using the letter and tools at www.WeAreResidents.org.

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, Papers, Planning, Pollution and Air Quality, Press Releases, Traffic, Uttlesford Local Plan
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