This is a newsletter we thought we’d never have to produce.
In his 172 page Decision Notice to allow the appeal by Landsec to build 1,000-1,200 dwellings on the land east of Highwood Quarry the Secretary of State (SoS) for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shocked many people, not least residents of the parish and Uttlesford district.
There is always a risk with planning appeals that a seemingly obvious decision does not occur. On several fronts this is a potentially questionable decision which has caused immense dismay and concern.
Since the announcement on Monday LEPC have been liaising with SEP and various councillors to understand whether there is a case for a winning appeal to the High Court as such an appeal must be lodged by 23rd October. Although LEPC has provision to provide some of the required funding, the costs of such an appeal will require a joint effort from other councils. Any response must be considerate and money will not be wasted on a lost cause.
There are peculiarities in the appeal decision notice which are being reviewed. For example, the assumption that there will be a low impact on local roads, the five year housing supply, coalescence between Little Easton & Dunmow and the granular assessment of individual heritage assets rather than considering the setting of the whole.
We need more houses in the UK but we also need open space for good health, arable land for food independence and countryside for mental well-being.
Whether you are for development or against, the next LEPC meeting will be held on 27th September at 7:00pm at the Memorial Hall. Join us.