The Uttlesford Lib Dems press office sent us a statement from Lib Dem UDC Cllr David Morson this week:
Cllr David Morson’s response to Cllr Jim Ketteridge’s criticisms in the press, concerning previous acceptance of the current housing plan, is as follows: “It is quite simple: I voted for the new Plan as the start of a process to kill off Option 4. Our Group supported a dispersal option and the New Plan was preferable in this regard.
We were constantly reminded at Scrutiny Committee meetings that this was only a Draft and that there would be opportunities to address individual local concerns. My criticisms arose because I saw no opportunities to do this being put forward. The current Cabinet are only in this position because they had stubbornly continued with Option 4 for five years, despite three consultations showing that it was not wanted. Now they have to deal with an alternative in a hurry. When asked whether I would prefer a return to Option 4, I replied by saying, ‘Don’t be stupid’.
Cllr Morson’s comments couldn’t be more wrong on option 2. If the council is seeking to dump 1,000s of houses in the district, they have to go somewhere, and so there will be winners and losers. Because of this, the only thing that can be done is go with the evidence. And the evidence says that dispersing houses (option 2) is the worst and least sustainable, and option 4, a new town is the best and most sustainable. And of course the larger settlements can “want” it less, because they have more people that can reject any plan. His comments don’t stack up.
Option 2 is such an unsustainable plan because of location, jobs, transport and infrastructure, particularly for Saffron Walden. In fact UDC’s own scoring model scores it 25% worse than option 4. That’s the difference between and A* and a Fail in A-level geography. Option 2 is the “stupid” plan because it’s an epic fail.