Residents’ 3D map highlights unprecedented house-building proposals for Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden residents held an event in the town last Saturday to highlight the large-scale negative impacts of unprecedented house-building proposed for their town and surrounding villages. The cabinet of Uttlesford District Council proposes huge and unprecedented house building on the inaccessible east of Saffron Walden through their draft Local Plan.

3D Map Highlights Resident Concerns over Uttlesford District Council Housing Plans

The exhibition featured an update to the 3D map that was shown in October 2013 and filmed for the TV show BBC Town with Nicholas Crane.  The new 6×3 metre map of the town was designed to make it easy for residents to understand what is proposed by UDC. It featured over 1,000 3D houses and large ‘Dad’s Army’ style arrows to show the major traffic and air quality problem areas. The proposed new housing in Saffron Walden will also bring increased commuter traffic through the nearby villages of Great Chesterford, Newport and Quendon.

The 3D map featured over 1,000 houses

The event was hosted by WeAreResidents.org, the Saffron Walden residents group who is standing John Lodge as their Independent for Residents candidate in the upcoming local elections.

 John Lodge was on hand to discuss his manifesto and county portfolio issues such as traffic, highways and education

John Lodge was on hand to discuss his manifesto and county portfolio issues such as traffic, highways and education. WeAreResidents.org Chair Dan Starr and a number of other residents were there to discuss the housing and development implications of the Local Plan.

 Dan Starr, chair of WeAreResidents.org discussing the issues with local residents

Labour and Lib Dem election canvassers were also nearby in the market square answering questions about their manifestos.

The updates to the map included:

  • Colour-coding of each development site to indicate which locations had already been approved by UDC and which additional ones they were promoting for development;
  • Housing numbers added for each location. In March 2013 Uttlesford District Council withdrew their widely disbelieved minimum numbers, so the updated map features UDC’s own planners’ appraisals of the total housing numbers each site would take, as well as approved planning application and developers’ own numbers where applicable.
  • The addition of the recently announced Ridgeons brownfield on Ashdon Road site that they wish to partially develop for housing;

 6x3m Map Highlights Resident Concerns over Uttlesford District Council Housing Plans
The UDC Cabinet has been criticised for taking a political decision to centre development on Saffron Walden and Dunmow, ignoring their own planners’ evidence on the most sustainable strategy. Even though the Local Plan was rejected by 99%, the UDC Cabinet has bulldozed ahead with their proposals, even recently increasing development targeted for Saffron Walden and trying to hide the real numbers from residents. Additionally the UDC Cabinet have still failed to publish a strategy for how they propose to deal with the education, air quality and traffic impacts of their Local Plan.

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Posted in Consultation, Essex County Council, News, Planning, Pollution and Air Quality, Spotlight Articles, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
5 comments on “Residents’ 3D map highlights unprecedented house-building proposals for Saffron Walden
  1. A says:

    excellent presentation and I loved seeing him walking up and down Thaxted Road last week when it was gridlocked. Lots of extra supporters now !!

  2. Karen Fiske says:

    Thank goodness for people like you, thank you and well done for standing up for all of us and making a difference.

  3. Sue Birchall says:

    Very interesting programme on BBC1 this evening describing the very real dangers of air pollution causing cardiac disease etc. The deterioration in air quality and risk to health will be a direct result of more and more traffic if these housing developments go ahead. Well done everyone. Here’s hoping for a good result on Thursday.

  4. Nicholas Taylor says:

    I can’t comment on the realism of the ‘3D map’, but looking at the satellite photo of the southern part of SW (the most recent past development?), the layout is obviously ‘American Dream’ with lots of curves and closes. Ideal for cars, inconvenient for pedestrians and cyclists trying to get somewhere, and impossible for public transport. This is surely a nonsense for ‘active/adaptive sustainability’. The position of the ‘isolated’ eastern development would not be an issue if it did not imply lines of cars crawling through the town to or from the motorway in the west. Unfortunately, while fine words about sustainable development abound, the reality looks to be heading in the opposite direction, more suited to the 1970s-80s than the 2010s. Maybe that’s what people really want, but who doesn’t selfishly want something that is bad for their society and their descendants. New houses ARE needed, and extension of a town is not necessarily bad in itself – otherwise no towns would ever have come into being. The only compensation to the ‘generated traffic’ is that car congestion is self-limiting. The last resort is not to ‘provide’ for the ‘prediction’.

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