The ‘new sixth form’ for Saffron Walden is not the only instance of the district council failing to consult a provider before offering their services to bolster their housing plan.
For Newport they presumed to offer ‘improved doctors’ surgery provision’. However, the response to the consultation from NHS North Essex is that, although a contribution towards healthcare provision would be needed, they ask that the requirement for this provision be removed from the policy.
Other authorities and development professionals have commented on the Newport proposals.
These include Essex County Council, who are responsible for transport and education, saying: “It is important to note that the Bury Water Lane site is located further away from the train station and is not as favourable as the London Road site for a sustainable transportation perspective.”
The remoteness of site 1 from the station is obvious to all, but was omitted entirely from UDC’s Sustainability Assessment, which also stated that there is no primary school in Newport!
The developer Amsted Properties Ltd says “this site is not related particularly well to the current village envelope in Newport” and compared with other locations “will have a significantly greater negative impact on the countryside”.
Gleeson Homes and the CPRE were also critical of site 1, but the most severe comment is from Countryside Properties UK Ltd. They question “whether the proposed development at Newport is deliverable due to the requirements for substantial improvements to the road network and sewerage system, and the limited capacities of the schools . . .there is clearly a need for major investment in sewage treatment and the sewerage system. The costs falling on new development of the scale proposed would probably be prohibitive”.
This confirms what UDC’s own water consultants and the Environment Agency said, and is clear to anyone in the vicinity of the sewage works.
Again this is treated lightly in the Sustainability Assessment.
While so far UDC have discounted the opinions of residents, the recently announced extra delay in producing the LDF housing plan gives them opportunity to take account of what these experts have to say. We look forward to a much better plan which the majority of residents can support.
Read the letter in the Walden Weekly (page 6).