The Walden Local covered the recent John Lodge, “Independent for Residents” campaign launch event:
John Lodge said that he was standing in the election “Because I’m community minded, and am very concerned to maintain the quality of life in Saffron Walden”.
“The absence of the Uttlesford Local Plan, a coordinated strategy to tackle housing needs in conjunction with such other essential requirements as transportation, employment, healthcare, education and the demands placed upon the infrastructure, is a predominant concern.”
Large numbers of new houses would create additional demands on Saffron Walden County High School and could require changes to the catchment area – children from areas such as Littlebury and the Chesterfords might have to go elsewhere.
There is a widespread fear that “We are sleepwalking into disaster” said John Lodge and that the planning void will be filled with applications for inappropriate and undesirable development for which refusal will be difficult. “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”
But his concerns range far more widely: a plan for a healthy town, healthy children and healthy living, with all that is implied in these aspirations.