Press Release: Saffron Walden residents resoundingly reject UDC Local Development Plan

WeAreResidents.org delivers well over two-thousand objection letters to Uttlesford District Council

23 July 2012: On Monday 23rd July, the current phase of public consultation for the draft Uttlesford Local Development Plan closed. Local campaign group WeAreResidents.org has been sharing the evidence gathered by UDC on the likely impacts of this plan with the residents of Uttlesford. As well as working in Saffron Walden, WeAreResidents.org has also been working with other local groups across the district, including in Great Dunmow, Newport and Thaxted.

In Saffron Walden the group received 2,150 individually signed objection letters from voter age residents. These were delivered by hand to UDC Chief Executive John Mitchell on Monday 23rd, before the public consultation deadline. The group also asked residents to send feedback directly to UDC and estimates that a further 200 responses were delivered by this means.

WeAreResidents.org spokesman Dan Starr said “We are delighted with the more than 2,000 individual letters objecting to these proposals. Saffron Walden has spoken and said a resounding ‘no’ to the draft UDC Plan. These results, on the back of both Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow Town Councils rejecting the proposals, send UDC Councillors a clear message: ‘Go back to the drawing board and create a new plan that voters can back – and which follows your own evidence that the towns and villages can’t cope with this sort of development.”

Eryl Stafford, co-ordinating the WeAreResidents.org campaign in Saffron Walden said: “We’d like to thank all of the residents of Saffron Walden for their support. At nearly every door we knocked on, people told us that they thought the plan was unfit for Saffron Walden; their biggest issues were jobs and traffic. Job seekers told us they feared that 2,000 more people looking for work would permanently squeeze them out of the local jobs market. With regard to traffic, residents told us that they were sick of the daily gridlock in the town and they want something done about it. They said that 2,000 more cars would be a disaster.”

WeAreResidents.org opposes the proposals on the basis of

  • Sustainability: It is the least sustainable solution based on UDC’s own evidence
  • Job creation: It is not a jobs-led proposal because it brings over 5,000 new people to the district without the required new jobs; it puts houses and employment land in the least accessible sites, where employers have already said and shown that they don’t want to come.
  • Traffic: Poor development location choices will create many 1,000s of unnecessary car journeys across the district. This will lead to gridlock in many communities and further breaching of legal EU emission limits.

The WeAreResidents.org’s full analysis of the UDC Plan and 43 page response is available from its website.

Even though the current phase of public consultation has closed, WeAreResidents.org intends to continue to represent residents’ wishes, raise public awareness, and apply pressure to UDC to change the proposals ahead of the next public review in the autumn.

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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The press release was covered in all the local papers, including the Walden Reporter, Walden Weekly News and Walden Local.

See the photograph. For high resolution print version, please contact us.

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Posted in Consultation, Pollution and Air Quality, Press Releases, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
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