An FOI request shows that there is no justification for UDC to remove 1.7km of parking from Saffron Walden streets according to WeAreResidents.org.
Uttlesford District Council asked for street parking to be removed from a number of roads in Saffron Walden as part of their draft Local Plan in 2013. The Plan would have seen large-scale building on the east of the town, but it and Kier’s 300-home development were rejected by the Planning Inspector and so the need to remove parking disappeared. Despite the rejection, 3 years later UDC is continuing to push forward the proposals using their cross-council quango, the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).
Dan Starr chair of WeAreResidents said:
“Saffron Walden is 2km wide and UDC wants to remove parking from 1.7km of our roads, including 50% of the residents’ parking on Ashdon Rd. They say they want to do it to improve traffic flow and safety, but they have failed to produce and evidence to support it.”
“The NEPP refused to provide the supporting evidence, so we were forced to use a Freedom-of-Information request to get to the facts. It transpires there isn’t any evidence and the NEPP say they only have a handful of documents that refer to any part of the scheme, including a report that says no changes are needed. We can also now see that the wholesale removal of parking from the north and south of the town wasn’t requested by anyone that represents the town; it was by UDC’s Head of Planning Head, but he provided no justification. It is no surprise they wouldn’t give us the documents.”
“Justification is required by law, so where is the evidence? Nothing says there is a long history of accidents, bad parking, or blocking of commercial or emergency vehicles. Trip times haven’t been measured. No one has looked at the impact to residents or nearby schools. The NEPP’s own process requires approval by Town Councillors and they haven’t even tried to get it. In fact the Saffron Walden Town Council opposes the scheme.”
“The whole process is a sham, but none the less UDC will try and sneak it through using an unaccountable quango. Clearly they are still trying to open up the east of town for developers via the backdoor, in spite of the refusal. UDC’s current actions also raise huge questions about their claims that the current Local Plan process is open and transparent.”
- Find out how to respond to the public consultation (closes 19th February 2016)
- Read all the documents that NEPP have to support the proposals (received under FOI)
- Read the formal WeAreResidents.org response to the public consultation
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.