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Two open public meetings to discuss the Reg 19 Consultation to be held on 17 and 20 July between 6:30pm and 8:30pm in the village hall.


BELOW IS A PRESS RELEASE 27TH JUNE 2018 FROM STOP EASTON PARK


 UDC ISSUE THEIR LOCAL PLAN - LAST CHANCE TO OBJECT

Finally, after some 12 plus years of work, Uttlesford District Council, issued their Local Plan on 25 June. This, of course, is the second Plan that UDC have issued since the first did not find favour with the Inspector in 2014.

It was a close-run thing when, after a five-hour marathon, Councillors finally voted at five minutes to midnight on Tuesday 19 June to approve the Plan by 23 votes to 13. The fact that a third of Councillors voted against is indicative of the concerns raised by this Plan. And the fact that the five Dunmow Councillors voted in favour notwithstanding the opposition of their Town Council colleagues to Easton Park shows how contentious the Plan has become. Clearly party loyalties were enforced. A proposal to defer approval of the Plan to allow time to address some of the issues, notably the implications of the Inspector’s letter in relation to NEGC, was lost by the same margin.

SEP was set up in May 2017 to support the Little Easton Parish Council in their opposition to the inclusion of Easton Park as a settlement for up to 10,000 houses. We understand the need for new houses and that UDC is required to build new houses, but the question is where?

It is disappointing that UDC have not listened to our concerns, but SEP welcomes the opportunity to move forward to make its arguments to an independent Inspector whose appointment will be announced in due course. As the first step in this process, SEP will be joining with LEPC and Great Dunmow Town Council in making representations to support our case prior to the deadline of 13 August.

SEP’s primary motivation is the preservation of a unique asset of incomparable value to future generations. Easton Park has been in existence for 700 years and more and lies at the heart of one of the biggest concentrations of historic buildings in Uttlesford. Its peace, tranquillity and space are widely enjoyed by those who come, often from far away, to walk, ride, fish, bird watch etc. It is an exceptional haven for wildlife. Katie Rodwell, a local resident, pointed out that UDC’s own conservation appraisal noted that “The historic environment cannot be replaced and is a resource that is both fragile and finite”. We must preserve this unique asset for future generations.

Equally, it makes no sense to embark on building a major new town in this location. The arguments used by UDC to promote its selection for their Plan are the very arguments that explain why it is not a suitable location:-

  • Proximity to the airport – why are UDC planning to build a major new town so close to a major airport and its flight paths when the health hazards are so well documented?
  • Access to the A120 and M11 – the weight of traffic from this proposed development would choke both as too access to Great Dunmow
  • Single ownership – results in far too much power for Landsec which UDC will struggle to control.

Andy Dodsley, Chairman of Little Easton Parish Council asks, “Is it sound to build a new town right next to a major airport with aggressive expansion plans?”

Great Dunmow is already scheduled to expand from 3,800 to 7,000 houses during the 15 year period of the Plan. Regardless of Easton Park, Great Dunmow will almost double in size and is making the biggest contribution to housing in the Uttlesford District. How can it cope with another major development just a few hundred yards away?

The Easton Park proposal runs a high risk of failure. Vincent Thompson, spokesman for SEP said, “this proposal is a white elephant built on a house of cards which would destroy a unique asset for those who will follow”.

  • Who will buy expensive houses so close to a runway?
  • It cannot be right to build affordable housing there given the health risks.
  • What builder will want to build on the quarry that accounts for a quarter of the site?
  • The employment figures derived from MAG’s absurdly optimistic projections are not credible.

A notable flaw in the Plan is the failure to adapt it following the MoD’s announcement in November 2016 that they plan to leave Carver Barracks in 2031. This brownfield site would come too late for the 15 years of this Plan but its probable availability for the next plan should have influenced the strategy adopted for this Plan. Are UDC planning to create FOUR new towns in this rural area?

This is the last chance that residents have to express concerns. Do not miss the chance to protect this unique asset and to safeguard your future against permanent gridlock.

View the Plan and register your concerns at:- www.uttlesford.gov.uk/draftplan2018

The deadline is 5.00 pm on Monday 13 August 2018.

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