YOU posed what was perhaps the wrong question last week: should the blame lie elsewhere for community discontent with Uttlesford’s planning for future housing need?
Should we blame the present government any more than we should blame the previous government? I don’t think so. Should we be seeking to blame anyone?
Governments have a responsibility to address today’s housing crisis; too few homes at prices that are increasingly unaffordable to more and more people. Local politicians who attempt to duck their responsibilities to plan more homes will be guilty of aggravating an already unacceptable shortage.
Recent papers issued by East Herts District Council suggest that our neighbours are alert to the likely need to increase future housing targets, especially to account for the movement of people into their area from London and elsewhere. That is a trend which cannot be stopped.
Yet Uttlesford [District Council Cabinet] is deliberately ignoring it.
The wellbeing of people today, their children and their grandchildren is at stake. No politician, of whatever political allegiance, should deny the strong demographic evidential data which support these plans.
Along with many of my constituents in Stansted I am alarmed at the flood of planning proposals that is gathering pace across the district week by week. My objection to some of these is because they are increasingly likely to be built in the wrong place through lack of a Local Plan. Stansted cannot cope with large developments over say 100 homes whilst Forest Hall Park is still growing and being assimilated.
Yet we are at risk of planning anarchy in Uttlesford because some councillors – mainly from one party – have been in denial of the need to plan properly.
Now is the time for residents of Uttlesford to demand that their elected representatives stop hatching – and stalling – plans in private. They want truly transparent dialogue with local people and all elected councillors before our area succumbs to development anarchy.
Abdication of planning decisions to central government is in no one’s interest. If it happens, the blame will rest with the party in charge of the council.
Read the letter in the Saffron Walden Reporter (page 7).