Tuesday 6th May 2014: Saffron Walden based WeAreResidents.org has called on Uttlesford District Council to use the money for sports fields that it should have collected from new home builders to fund facilities for key sports clubs in the town.
Paul Gadd, legal and policy team lead at WeAreResidents.org said “UDC has approved 1,000 new homes in Saffron Walden over the last 5 years, most of which have not contributed any sports fields. UDC’s Open Space Sport and Playing Pitch Strategy dictates that it should have collected £3.5 million from these developers for sports and green-spaces. On top of that the Council has earned additional millions from the government for approving these new homes. That means there should be more than enough money to provide land and facilities for key sports clubs in the town.”
Paul Gadd continued “Instead of using the money from this sports fund, the District Council has been asking new developers to come forward to offer land for sports in exchange for building even more homes – even if the proposed sites are unsuitable, unsustainable and offer no general benefit to the town, as in the case of the recent refused Kier application on Thaxted Rd. It is ludicrous; we shouldn’t need to trade even more homes for sports; UDC’s sports strategy is clear on this and they should have the money. We have written to the District Council to request that this happens – after all it’s the residents’ Council and thus their money.”
Paul Gadd added “What is more concerning is that, as part of their draft Local Plan, UDC also has a new Developer Contribution Guide which, moving forward, would require zero contribution from developers for sports provision. This policy is at odds with their Open Spaces and Sports Strategy and seems to pander to developers’ profits. It is a scandalous short-changing of the residents of Uttlesford. We intend to work with the sports clubs of Uttlesford to oppose this new policy.”
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Supporting documents (ZIP file): analysis of required sports contribution by development; UDC Open Space Strategy; UDC Developer Contribution Guide
Founded in 2011, WeAreResidents.org is the Uttlesford based group that provides a strong, independent voice for the views of local residents. The group campaigns for long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area. WeAreResidents.org works with other similar groups across Uttlesford and enjoys the strong support of professionals in key and relevant professions.
WeAreResidents.org is one of the residents’ groups that help start Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local political party of towns and a village that is seeking to give residents a stronger say in local matters.
WeAreResidents.org can we found on the web at www.WeAreResidents.org.