Public Consultation ends Jan 27th: Oppose Willis & Gambier application for 52 homes in Walden

A 52 home development is proposed on Radwinter Rd in Saffron Walden on the former Willis & Gambier/SIACo site opposite Tesco. The application is unsustainable because it is on the wrong side of town and has unresolved issues with respect to traffic/highways, air quality, affordable housing, education, the fuel pipeline and dump, and other things. This new application is an almost identical resubmission of the previous application (UTT/13/1982/FUL).

Residents have until Monday, 27th January 2014 to respond to the Public Consultation for this development (Countryside/Willis and Gambier, Saffron Walden, UTT/13/3406/FUL). To make it easier we have prepared a standard letter that you can send in to UDC. There are several ways to respond:

  1. Simplest & quickest – email a standard objection letter: Send UDC a pre-filled email response. All you need to do is click the button below, fill your name and address at the top of the email then click Send.OPPOSE the Countryside/Willis and Gambier, Saffron Walden developmentNote: the button/link above may not work if you use webmail or Windows 8. If this is the case then please use the content in this text file inserting your own name and address.
  2. or, Send your own email/letter: Alternatively you can download the Word version of the letter and modify and email/send it in yourself. You should email it to planning@uttlesford.gov.uk or post/deliver to UDC Planning, Uttlesford District Council, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4ER.
  3. or, Post a comment directly on the UDC website, on the
    UTT/13/3406/FUL planning application page (registration required).

Supporting Information

The main reasons that this 52 home development should be opposed are outlined below. Full details are in the residents’ letter.

  • The application is unsustainable: The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that development be sustainable. The location of the Applicant’s site is inherently unsustainable; it is in the most inaccessible part of Saffron Walden, on completely the wrong side for access to jobs, schools, the railway station, other facilities and major transport links.
  • Fails to meet minimum UDC requirements: The development fails to comply with UDC requirements for car parking spaces and gardens and provides no additional playing fields or contributions to them. There is no play area and no space for children to play, and there are no such areas within easy walking or cycling distance for children. The majority of the green space that is provided is inside the MoD ‘hazardous’ zone and so unsuitable for children’s play;
  • Zero affordable housing: UDC requires that 40% of new housing is affordable. This development has no affordable housing included in the application and the town needs more affordable housing.
    The Care Home next door is a separate application, is for outline planning
    only and doesn’t count.
  • Loss of employment land: There have been over 440 new homes approved for Saffron Walden in the last few years, much of it on brown-field sites and more is on the way. The proposed development is on one of the major employment sites that has been ring-fenced by UDC for jobs in Saffron Walden and as such should not be converted to housing.
  • Underplayed impact to highways: The Applicant claims that the development will be broadly traffic neutral compared with the existing employment site that it proposes to replace. Because the site has actually been vacant for many years, the traffic from the development should be considered as net-new and the application should not be permitted without significant junction improvements at the Thaxted Rd junction.
  • Full traffic context known but not considered: UDC has a full and detailed Highways Assessment for Saffron Walden but has not made it available and so neither UDC Councillors nor the public can properly assess the Application without this fundamental background report. The application should not proceed until it is considered within the context of this important report;
  • It will cause illegal levels of pollution: Air pollution at the Radwinter/Thaxted Road junction already significantly exceeds legal limits. The Applicant has not submitted an Air Quality assessment and so the application should be refused until a credible and proper cumulative air quality assessment is undertaken;
  • Unsustainable for Education: Both catchment area primary and secondary schools are already over or forecast to be at capacity. The application should be refused until there is a clear and deliverable programme for providing the additional school places;
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Posted in Consultation, News, Planning, Planning Application News, Planning Consultation, Pollution and Air Quality, Reports and Documents, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
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